Bevel-based spear tips

Late Magdalenian, about 12,500 years ago
From the cave of Courbet, Penne-Tarn, France

Points made of antler

Throughout the late Old Stone Age or Upper Palaeolithic (about 40,000-10,000 years ago) people hunted with spears. The tips of these spears varied through time: sometimes they were made of antler, bone or mammoth ivory, while in other periods stone tips were preferred.

By 12,500 years ago the hunters using the cave of Courbet were, like people elsewhere at this time, using antler tipped spears together with equipment such as harpoons and fish hooks. The plain antler points are smooth with a round or oval cross-section and a fine sharp tip. Their bases are simply thinned or bevelled to fit into the slot at the top of a wooden shaft. They would probably have been fixed with cord and possibly some glue made from the sticky sap from pine or birch trees.

The deadly efficiency of these weapons would have been improved with the use of a spearthrower, a common and often decorated piece of equipment in the Magdalenian.

Find in the collection online

More information



Length: 22.000 cm
Length: 22.000 cm
Length: 22.000 cm
Length: 22.000 cm

Museum number

P&EE 1864 12-26 111, 121, 123, 581



Find in the collection online

Related objects

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore