Time and space

Bone retouchers are best known from the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic in Europe, with the earliest examples appearing roughly 500,000 years ago. The use of bones to manufacture and modify lithic tools is not exclusive to the Palaeolithic tool-kit, but survived in some areas into Neolithic times. Recent evidence also confirms the presence of early bone retouchers outside of Western Europe, in the Levant, perhaps suggesting multiple, independent origins for this technology. With the Retouching the Palaeolithic Conference, we aim to compile regional syntheses alongside broad temporal overviews, so that we can better understand the circumstances of the origin and development of bone retoucher technology across space and time. Furthermore, establishing a geographical and diachronic framework can be used to support hypotheses regarding the prevalence or absence of bone retouchers in specific geographic area and during different time periods.