Were tanged points mechanically delivered armatures? Functional and morphometric analyses of tanged points from an Upper Paleolithic site at Jingeuneul, Korea

Gi Kil Lee, Katsuhiro Sano

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 99 tanged points have been unearthed from the Jingeuneul site in Jinan-gun, Korea. The exceptionally large number of tanged points suggests a specific site function at this location. Even though the tanged point is one of the representative tool types for Korean Upper Paleolithic assemblages, the function of this tool is not well known because no systematic use-wear analyses have yet been undertaken. Here, we conduct a use-wear analysis of 95 tanged points from the Jingeuneul site. The use-wear analysis reveals that a considerable number of the tanged points show diagnostic impact fractures (DIFs). Because a large number of the tanged points appear to have been used as hunting weapons, a morphometric analysis is also undertaken to examine the potential projectile capability of the tanged points with DIFs. The large dimension of the DIFs and the complex fracture pattern of the tanged points, as well as the small morphometric values of the tip cross-sectional area, tip cross-sectional perimeter, and neck width of the tanged points, all suggest that the tanged points from the Jingeuneul site were mechanically propelled using a spear-thrower or a bow.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Jan 1



  • Korea
  • Mechanically delivered armatures
  • Tanged points
  • Upper Paleolithic
  • Use-wear analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

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