New article – osseous harpoon heads from the Polish Lowland

We invite all interested to read a new article regarding the osseous uniserial harpoon heads from the Polish Lowland, which appeared in the Quaternary International Journal.

Orłowska J., Osipowicz G., 2017, Optic observations on osseous uniserial harpoon heads from the Polish lowland as an element of discussion about their chronological affiliation Quaternary International, (2017).


The Late Glacial and early Holocene points and harpoons made of bone and antler are one of the most common finds from these periods in the southern Baltic zone. They are a manifestation of the well-developed hunter-gatherer economy of that time. The presented work deals with a group of characteristic, uniserial harpoon heads which are mostly well known from Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic contexts. Their common characteristics are: one row of distinct, massive barbs, distinguished tang, and wide, flat base. Originally, the finds of this type discovered on the Polish Lowland, constituted a fairly large collection, with over twenty specimens of this type mentioned in the literature. Unfortunately, the majority of them were discovered at the beginning of twentieth century and most of them were lost during World War II. This paper present the first detailed technological analysis of the seven remaining specimens. The artefacts included represent a valuable source of information on issues related to processing bone material by the Late Glacial and early Holocene communities in the Polish Lowland. Results of the study can also become an important argument in discussion about chronological affiliation of these kind of forms discovered on Polish Lowland.

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