Ballistic performance of Upper Paleolithic stone-tipped projectiles
An assessment using computational fluid analysis
OverviewThis project investigates the cause of design and technological variability in stone projectile tips present in the Upper Paleolithic archaeological record of Southwestern Europe. It is generally accepted that the successive, and sometimes dramatic, changes in stone tip design within this time-span (as well as its rough association with major cultural changes) were the result of functional efficiency and of the suitability of each projectile to specific hunting strategies on one hand, and stylistic variation at various scales on the other. This project will focus exclusively on the first factor, centering the research plan on the computational analysis of the ballistic performance of a large sample of these projectiles, through the use of Computational Fluid Analysis - a branch of mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to analyze problems that involve fluid/air flows.
Archaeological Insititute of America