The artefact in this model is described as an ‘end scraper’ because the distal end of the blade was unifacially retouched to form a curved edge. Use-wear studies have shown that retouched flakes with this morphology were often used for hide scraping, hence the functional label. However, these tools may have also been used for other tasks, and were not necessarily used for processing hides. This artefact shows careful unifacial percussion retouch on the distal end and discontinuous retouch on one lateral margin. The retouch was likely accomplished with a soft hammer, such as bone or antler.
The artefact is curated in the North Carolina Archaeological Collection, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, catalog no. 533a1.
The cave site of Abri Casserole, in Dordgone, France, is considered one of the key sequences used to define the nature of the Upper Palaeolithic. It was initially excavated by a local farrier in the town of Les Eyzies in the early 1900s. Tools from the site were sold to collectors, leading to the first published description of the sequence in 1939. The site was re-excavated in the 1990s, and the stratigraphy was clarified and dated. The cave is one of the few sites with an assemblage that marks the transition from the Gravettian to Solutrean periods (the ‘Protosolutrean’), and from the Solutrean to Magdalenian periods (the ‘Badegoulian’).
This end scraper is part of a collection of Paleolithic artifacts that was acquired in 1929 by James Bell Bullitt during a tour of western Europe and later donated to the University of North Carolina. During his tour, Bullitt visited the famous palaeolithic archaeologist Henri Breuil, who likely facilitated the purchase of this artefact. It was excavated from Abri Casserole during the early work there, and the stratigraphic context of the artefact is unknown.