About the project

At the end of 2019, a new project was initiated with the aim of studying the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene osseous artefacts commonly interpreted as hunting weapon elements, discovered in Poland. They are studied from the perspective of their age, morphology and technology to establish/verify their chronological/cultural affiliation. The functional analysis aims to interpret the real way in which they were used and to discuss this from the point of view of the ecological conditions of the places where they were found, and their possible connection to the functional specialisation and mobility of the hunters or (more generally) archaeological sites.


The project aims to answer three key questions:

1. What was the real function of osseous objects commonly associated with hunting and does it correspond to the interpretations made in this respect?

2. How were osseous projectile weapons from Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene sites in Poland designed, manufactured, used and maintained?

3. Do the observed technological and functional differences and similarities between products from different chronological periods result from geographic, environmental or cultural contexts, and can they constitute the basis for contextual analyses in this regard?


The research includes experimental works, traceological (technological and functional) analysis with the use of optical and metallographic microscopes, and also scanning electron microscope (SEM) and digital microscopes, chemical analyses (GC-MS, ATR-FT-IR, SEM-EDX), ZOOMs, micro-computed tomography (micro CT), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and radiocarbon dating.