1) It is argued that arrowhead typology is driven by environmental selection.
(For example, the transverse pictured below should be optimal for wetland bird and small game hunting in marshy (boggy) environments, such as the Nile, Red Sea and North Sea lowlands. The Medieval re-invention of this Mesolithic-Neolithic point would seem to give credence to this.)
|Egyptian Old Kingdom transverse "chisel" arrowheads|
|Barb and Tang from Thrupp, Abington [Link]|
But these statements can't be used together to justify a smooth evolution in European point typology. In fact, it's very non-smooth in most places. As far as the inevitable accession of the pressure-flaked, barbed projectile, it was almost completely replaced by the crude transverses in the Red Sea, Nile and Sinai in the Early Bronze Age.
|Recently discovered Neolithic Danish Tri-face|
These questions strike at the heart of the "cultural inheritance" models which Crema, Edinborough, Kerig and Shennan addressed on Clarivaux and Chatain lithics changes.
To me, the non-gradual change in Western European LNE lithics is a no brainer given the demographic changes happening at the time. Again, I will summon the growing weight of paternal genetic studies on Neolithic Europe.
Crema et al (2014) essentially concluded that there were two possible inheritance models for LNE southeastern France that achieved equifinality, one being unbiased transmission and the other, anti-conformist bias. I'll put words in their mouth and simply this down to factors attributable to uncritical knapping (mass migration) or imitation of a cultural minority (foreign elite). I'll leave that one for you.
Speaking of the "foreignness" of the Beaker projectile, I'll wrap up with one last post on the Middle and Late Pastoral projectiles of the Saharan Dairy Farmers in Part 4.