On the technology of Late Aurignacian burin and scraper production, and the importance of the Paviland lithic assemblage and the Paviland burin

R Dinnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to recent improvements in understanding of the lithic technology of the Early Upper Palaeolithic it is now clear that many classic Aurignacian ‘tools’ are in fact discarded cores from the regular production of bladelets. The complexity and standardisation of many of these core artefacts indicates that bladelet production techniques were designed to create bladelets of predetermined form. The Paviland burin — an artefact defined here and proposed as a bladelet core on the basis of similarities to another, contemporary artefact — is an important feature of the late Aurignacian of Britain and Belgium. Its geographical distribution may have implications for our understanding of the Aurignacian of northern Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages158
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Very many thanks to Dr. Damien Flas for patiently talking me through some of the less easily understood minutiae of the French literature, and in particular for directing me towards two artefacts in the Spy collection that he had recognised as similar to those from Paviland. A special thanks to John Lord, without whom I would understand very little about lithic technology beyond archaeological terms and typological taxonomy. Also
thanks to many colleagues at home and abroad for help with my research, for willingly sharing their knowledge of the assemblages I have studied and for long, illuminating discussions about a potentially very boring subject; most notably to Dr. Paul Pettitt, Dr. Roger Jacobi, Dr. Laurent Chiotti and Stephanie Swainston. Thanks to Dr.Pettitt, Prof. Robin Dennell and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Every single mistake is mine and mine alone. Also thanks to staff at the following institutions: NMGW; Tenby Museum; Torquay Museum; The British Museum; Swansea Museum; Oxford University Museum; Musée de l’Abri Pataud; Institut de Paléontologie Humaine; Musée National de Préhistoire (Les Eyzies); Musée Dobrée; Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique; Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire; Musée Curtius. This research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


  • Aurignacian
  • bladelet technology
  • Paviland
  • Britain
  • northern Europe


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