Curation and Reuse

An Experimental Study of Transverse Arrowheads of the Late Scandinavian Mesolithic


  • Joen Leffler The Historical Museum at Lund University


This article aims to examine whether it is possible to rework transverse arrowheads while still hafted, in order to reuse them. Three series, each containing three arrows, were shot into a target consisting of meat and bone. When possible, the arrowheads were retouched and fired again. The results of the experiments demonstrate that it is possible to rework transverse arrowheads while they are hafted and that there may be strong strategic and economic reasons to do so. A discussion of the results and comparison with archaeological material follows the experiment, which indicates that reworked arrowheads can be recognized in archaeological contexts and that reworking changes arrowhead morphology. This suggests that formal typologies of lithic arrowheads that are based on morpho-metric shape, and have been considered to reveal chronological or cultural affinities, may be flawed.