A Middle Palaeolithic wooden digging stick from Aranbaltza III, Spain - Inrap - Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2018

A Middle Palaeolithic wooden digging stick from Aranbaltza III, Spain


Aranbaltza is an archaeological complex formed by at least three open-air sites. Between 2014 and 2015 a test excavation carried out in Aranbaltza III revealed the presence of a sand and clay sedimentary sequence formed in floodplain environments, within which six sedimentary units have been identified. This sequence was formed between 137–50 ka, and includes several archaeological horizons, attesting to the long-term presence of Nean-derthal communities in this area. One of these horizons, corresponding with Unit 4, yielded two wooden tools. One of these tools is a beveled pointed tool that was shaped through a complex operational sequence involving branch shaping, bark peeling, twig removal, shaping , polishing, thermal exposition and chopping. A use-wear analysis of the tool shows it to have traces related with digging soil so it has been interpreted as representing a digging stick. This is the first time such a tool has been identified in a European Late Middle Palaeo-lithic context; it also represents one of the first well-preserved Middle Palaeolithic wooden tool found in southern Europe. This artefact represents one of the few examples available of wooden tool preservation for the European Palaeolithic, allowing us to further explore the role wooden technologies played in Neanderthal communities.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Rios-Garaizar et al 2018_Aranbaltza III digging stick_SI.pdf (20.82 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-01766208 , version 1 (13-04-2018)



Joseba Rios-Garaizar, Oriol López-Bultó, Eneko Iriarte, Carlos Pérez-Garrido, Raquel Piqué, et al.. A Middle Palaeolithic wooden digging stick from Aranbaltza III, Spain. PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (3), pp.e0195044. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0195044⟩. ⟨hal-01766208⟩
165 View
132 Download



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More