Variability and Function among Gravette Points from Southwestern France



A number of morphological and metric variables were recorded for a sample of 1,451 Gravette points deriving from ten sites in southwestern France. Size, macrowear, and base treatment covaried in a manner suggesting that some Gravette “points” in fact functioned as knives. The sample artifacts, however, did not segregate neatly into two distinct morphological-functional types of knives and points, but rather formed a continuum from more knife-like to more point-like pieces. Some probably functioned in both ways during their use lives. Considerable differences in size and other attributes between collections suggest different activity emphases at different sites. Some stylistic variation is apparent, but the bulk of the variation observed seems to be functional.