Object structure

Core-shaped forms: endscrapers, burins, cores? Analysis of Aurignacian artefacts from the Kraków, Spadzista site


Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 67 (2015)


Nowak, Adam ; Wolski, Damian


Instytut Archeolgoii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



ill. ; 25 cm

Type of object:


Subject and Keywords:

Aurignacian ; core-shaped forms ; endscrapers ; burins ; cores ; microwear analysis


Core-shaped forms are one of the most distinctive kinds of artefacts identified in Aurignacian assemblages. Classification of such pieces frequently causes difficulties, and the boundaries between certain types seem to be fluid and intuitive. The question whether to categorise those artefacts as tools or as cores is another unresolved issue. This leads to conflicting interpretations of morphologically and technologically identical lithics. The present paper investigates these topics, using the assemblage of core-shaped forms from the group of sites in Spadzista Street in Kraków as an example. The authors propose a standardised examination method, without dividing the artefacts into typological categories, tools or cores. Such an approach, combined with microwear analysis of the materials, confirms the hypothesis that the forms may have been used both as tools and as cores, and that their use was not always the same, but depended on the specific needs of their users/makers.


Anderson-Gerfaud P. C. 1980. A testimony of prehistoric tasks: diagnostic residues on stone tool working edges. World Archaeology 12, 181–194.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00438243.1980.9979791 -
Arrighi S., Borgia V., Moroni Lanfredini A. and Ronchitelli A. 2006. Burins des Vachons en Italie: typologie, morphotechnique et tracèologie. In J.-P. Bracco, M. De AraujoIgreja and F. Le Brun-Ricalens (eds.), Burins Préhistoriques: Formes, Fonctionnements, Fonctions: Actes de la Table-Ronded’Aix-en-Provence (3–5 Mars 2003) (= Archéologiques 2). Luxembourg: Musée national d’histoire et d’art., 103–118.
Beyries S. and Rots V. 2008. The contribution of ethnoarchaeological macro- and microscopic wear traces to the understanding of archaeological hide-working processes. In L. Longo and N. Skakun (eds.), Prehistoric Technology 40 years later: Functional Studies and the Russian Legacy, Proceedings of the International Congress Verona (Italy) (= British Archaeological Reports. International Series 1783). Oxford: Archeopress, 21–28.
Broglio A., Bertola S., De Stefani M., Marini D., Lemorini C. and Rossetti P. 2005. La production lamellaire et les armatures lamellaires de l’Aurignacien ancien de la grotte de Fumane (Monts Lessini, Vénétie). Archéologiques 1, 415–436.
Chiotti L. 2000. Lamelles Dufour et grattoirs aurignaciens (carénés et à museau) de la couche 8 de l’abri Pataud, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, Dordogne. L’Anthropologie 104, 239–263.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003552100800461?via%3Dihub -
Chiotti L. 2003. Les productions lamellaires dans l’Aurignacien de l’abri Pataud, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac (Dordogne). Gallia préhistoire 45, 113–156.
Chiotti L. 2005. Les industries lithiques aurignaciennes de l’Abri Pataud, Dordogne, France: les fouilles de Hallam L. Movius Jr. (= British Archaeological Reports. International Series 1392). Oxford: Archeopress.
Chiotti L. and Cretin C. 2011. Les mises en forme de grattoirs carénés / nucléus de l’aurignacien ancien de l’abri Castanet (Sergeac, Dordogne). PALEO. Revue d’archéologie préhistorique 22, 69–84.
Cotterell B. and Kamminga J. 1989. The formation of flakes. American Antiquity 52, 675–708.
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-antiquity/article/formation-of-flakes/89A6BDB8EB192BE24A9370620C823019 -
Demars P.-Y. 1990. Proposition pour une nouvelle liste typologique des outillages lithiques du Paléolithique supérieur. Paléo 2, 191–201.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/pal_1145-3370_1990_num_2_1_998 -
Demars P.-Y. and Laurent P. 1989. Types d’outils lithiques du Paléolithique supérieur en Europe. Paris: CNRS.
Dinnis R. 2008. On the technology of Late Aurignacian burin and scraper production, and the importance of the Paviland lithic assemblage and the Paviland Burin. Lithics 29, 18–29.
Dinnis R., Pawlik A. and Gaillard C. 2009. Bladelet cores as weapon tips? Hafting residue identification and micro-wear analysis of three carinated burins from the late Aurignacian of Les Vachons, France. Journal of Archaeological Science 36, 1922–1934.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440309001575?via%3Dihub -
Drobniewicz B., Kozłowski J. K. and Sachse-Kozłowska E. 1976. Studia nad technikami obróbki kamienia w górnym paleolicie. Pracownia krzemieniarska na stanowisku Kraków, ul. Spadzista (B). Archeologia Polski 21, 39–78.
Escutenaire C., Sobczyk K. and Sitlivy V. 2004. Résultats préliminaires de la fouille des sites de Spadzista (campagne de 1997). In W. Blajer and J. Poleski (eds.), Recherches Archeologiques de 1993–1998. Kraków, 17–27.
Ginter B. and Kozłowski J. K. 1990. Technika obróbki i typologia narzędzi kamiennych paleolitu, mezolitu i neolitu. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
Hays M. A. and Lucas G. 2000. A Technological and Functional Analysis of Carinates from Le Flageolet I, Dordogne, France. Journal of Field Archaeology 27, 1–11.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/jfa.2000.27.4.455 -
Hardy B. L., Bolus M. and Conard N. J. 2008. Hammer or crescent wrench? Stone-tool form and function in the Aurignacian of southwest Germany. Journal of Human Evolution 54, 648–662.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248407002060?via%3Dihub -
Hatt G. 1969. Arctic Skin Clothing in Eurasia and America: An Ethnographic Study. Arctic Anthropology 5, 1–132.
Inizan M. L., Reduron-Ballinger M., Roche H. and Tixier J. 1999. Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone. Followed by a multilingual vocabulary, Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish. Nanterre: CREP.
Kaczanowska M., Kozłowski J. K. and Sobczyk K. 2010. Upper Paleolithic human occupations and material culture at Klisoura Cave 1. Eurasian Prehistory 7, 133–186.
Keeley L. H. 1980. Experimental Determination of Stone Tool Uses. A Microwear Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Korobkowa G. F. 1999. Narzędzia w pradziejach. Podstawy badania funkcji metodą traseologiczną. Toruń: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika.
Kozłowski J. K. 1969. Problemy geochronologii paleolitu w dolinie Wisły pod Krakowem. Folia Quaternaria 31, 1–54.
Kozłowski J. K. 1980. Technological and Typological Differentiation of Lithic Assemblages in the Upper Palaeolithic: An Interprétation Attempt. In R. Schild (ed.), Unconventional Archaeology. Wrocław: Ossolineum, 33–56.
Kozłowski J. K. 1996. The Upper Paleolithic site Kraków-Spadzista. Units D, E and F (Excavations 1986–1989). Folia Quaternaria 67, 5–127.
Kozłowski J. K., Van Vliet-Lanoë B., Kramarz K., Drobniewicz B., Sachse-Kozłowska E. and Kubiak H. 1975. Górnopaleolityczne stanowisko Kraków — ul. Spadzista C (Badania w latach 1970–1973). Folia Quaternaria 45, 43–71.
Krukowski S. 1939–1948. Paleolit. In Prehistoria ziem polskich (Encyklopedia Polska, tom 4, część 1 — dział 5). Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 4–117.
Le Brun-Ricalens F. 1993. Réflexions préliminaires sur le comportement litho-technologique et l’occupation du territoire du pays des Serres à l’Aurignacien. Paléo 5, 127–153.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/pal_1145-3370_1993_num_5_1_1108 -
Le Brun-Ricalens F. 2005. Chronique d’une reconnaissance attendue. Outils “carénés”, outils “nucléiformes”: nucléus à lamelles; bilan après un siècle de recherches typologiques, technologiques et tracéologiques. ArchéoLogiques 1, 23–72.
Le Brun-Ricalens F., Bracco J.-P. and Brou L. 2006. Burins carénés, grattoirs carénés et formes associées: un retournement! In J.-P. Bracco, M. De Araujo Igreja and F. Le Brun-Ricalens (eds.), Burins préhistoriques: formes, fonctionnements, fonctions (= ArchéoLogiques 2). Luxembourg: Musée national d’Histoire et d’Art, 345–356.
Lenoir M. 1971. Traces d’utilisation observées sur un nucléus à lamelle. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française 68, 69–70.
Lucas G. 1997. Les lamelles Dufour du Flageolet 1 (Bézenac, Dordogne) dans le contexte aurignacien. Paléo 9, 191–219.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/pal_1145-3370_1997_num_9_1_1233 -
Madeyska T. 1981. Environmental conditions during the Interpleniglacial time in the territory of Poland. In L. Bánesz and J. K. Kozłowski (eds.), L’aurignacien et le gravettien (périgordien) dans leur cadre écologique. Colloque International Kraków — Nitra (14–21 September 1980), Kraków, 45–56.
Moss E. H. 1983. The Functional Analysis of Flint Implements. Pincevent and Pont d’Ambon: two case studies from the French Final Palaeolithic (= British Archaeological Reports. International series 177). Oxford: Archeopress.
Normand C., O’Farrell M. and Rios Garaizer J. 2008. The Funktion(s) of archaic aurinacian bladelets: data and thoughts based on examples from Isturitz cave (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France). Palethnologie 1, 6–44.
Odell G. H. and Odell-Vereecken F. 1980. Verifying the Reliability of Lithic Use-Wear Assessment by ‘Blind Tests’: the Low-Power Approach. Journal of Field Archaeology 7, 87–120.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/529584?origin=crossref -
O’farrell M. 2005. Étude préliminaire des éléments d’armature lithique de l’Aurignacien ancien de Brassempouy. ArchéoLogiques 1, 395– 412.
Oliva M. 1987. Aurignacien na Morave. Studie Muzea Kroměřížska 87, 5–128.
Perrot J. and Sonneville-Bordes D. de 1953. Essai d’adaptation des méthodes statistiques au Paléolithique supérieur. Premiers résultats. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique de France 50, 323–333.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/bspf_0249-7638_1953_num_50_5_3059 -
Perrot J. and Sonneville-Bordes D. de 1956. Lexique Typologique du Paléolithique supérieur. Outillage lithique. IV. Burins. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 53, 408–412.
Pesesse D. and Michel A. 2006. Le burin des Vachons: apports d’une relecture technologique à la compréhension de l’Aurignacien récent du nord de l’Aquitaine et des Charentes. Paléo 18, 143–160.
Pradel D. L. 1952. La grotte périgordienne et aurignacienne du Fontenioux, commune de Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé (Vienne). Bulletin de la Société préhistorique de France 49, 413–432.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/bspf_0249-7638_1952_num_49_8_5084 -
Pradel D. L. 1962. Du burin busqué au burin nucléiforme. Formes de passage. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique de France 59, 684–692.
http://www.persee.fr/doc/bspf_0249-7638_1962_num_59_9_8093 -
Pyżewicz K. 2013. Inwentarze krzemienne społeczności mezolitycznych w zachodniej części niżu polskiego. Analiza funkcjonalna. Zielona Góra: Wydawnictwo Fundacji Archeologicznej. Sachse-Kozłowska E. 1973. Kraków Spadzista street, site C (An open Upper Palaeolithic site). Recherches Archéologiques De 1972, 5–7.
Sachse-Kozłowska E. 1976. The Aurignacian in Poland. In J. K. Kozłowski (ed.), IX Congrès UISPP colloque XVI. Nicea, 98–111.
Sachse-Kozłowska E. 1978. Polish Aurignacian assemblages. Folia Quaternaria 50, 1–37.
Sonneville-Bordes D. de and Piveteau J. 1960. Le Paleìolithique supeìrieur en Peìrigord. Bordeaux: Delmas.
Schulte im Walde T. 1987. Kratzer oder Kernsteine? Gebrauchsspurenanalysen an den Kielkratzern aus dem Aurignacian-Inventar Breitenbach B. Quartär 37/38, 101–107.
Sobczyk K. 1996. Kraków-Spadzista unit D: excavations 1986-1988. Folia Quaternaria 67, 75–127.
Stefański D. 2007. Functional analysis of burins. Folia Quaternaria 77, 97–116.
Stefański D. 2013. Technika rylcowa z górnopaleolitycznego stnowiska Kraków — ul. Spadzista B-B1. In M. Nowak, D. Stefański and M. Zając (eds.), Retusz — jak i dlaczego? „Wieloperspektywiczność elementu twardzowego” (= Prace Archeologiczne 66. Studia). Kraków: Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 95–125.
Tringham R., Cooper G., Odell G., Voytek B. and Whitman A. 1974. Experimentation in the Formation of Edge Damage: a New Approach to Lithic Analysis. Journal of Field Archaeology 1, 171–196.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/529712?origin=crossref&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents -
Voughan P. C. 1985. Use-wear analysis of flaked stone tools. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.


Sprawozdania Archeologiczne



Start page:


End page:


Resource type:


Detailed Resource Type:




Resource Identifier:



IAiE PAN, call no. P 244 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 245 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 243 ; click here to follow the link




Rights Reserved - Free Access

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences





Citation style: