We invite all interested to read a new article regarding the “mysterious curved knives” and plant processing in the Late Mesolithic in Poland. Article was published in the Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.
Osipowicz G. 2019. Plant processing in the Late Mesolithic Poland: in search for function of the mysterious ‘curved knives’. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.
Studies on the treatment and use of plants in the Mesolithic are difficult due to the small number of sources. However, they are important because it was one of the basic branches of the economy of the early Holocene community. This article presents the results of use-wear and experimental studies aimed at the interpretation of the function of the so-called curved knives. These tools are associated with the treatment of silica plants, but their actual function is not fully understood. The research was based on a collection of 66 products of this type from five sites in central Poland and is one of the first published research on tools of this kind from this part of Europe. As a result of microscopic analysis, eight types of curved knives were distinguished. In order to identify the plant species, the knives were used on an experimental programme based on the results of palynological studies carried out at site 6 in Ludowice, an economically specialised site. As a result of the traceological analyses, a number of correlations between artefacts and experimental tools have been identified that can provide an important step towards interpreting the actual function of the curved knives. At the same time, the large discrepancies in the traces resulting from the processing of different species of silica plants were documented and the probable use of many of their species in the European Mesolithic was suggested.