Hunting on the coast: An image gallery of Rompecráneos

  • Daniela Soledad Cañete Mastrángelo CONICET INAPL
Keywords: Rompecráneos, Lithic technology, Pinnipeds, Patagonia


The Rompecráneo is a special kind of lithic artifact which was, presumably, involved in the capture of pinnipeds carried out along the Patagonian coast of Argentina during prehistoric times. Recent papers had offered some information about their morphology but up to now they are poorly studied. In order to offset this situation in a previous work we addressed their role in hunting technics developed at the archaeological locality of Punta Entrada (Santa Cruz, Argentina). This allowed us to propose that rompecráneos were used in combination with spears when hunting on the coast. With the aim of expanding this information, here we present an image gallery of some rompecráneos recovered there. Two of these pieces share a similar morphology but were made of different lithic raw materials. The other one has the appearance of a bola stone but its weight is higher than other bola stones in Patagonia. That is why it is considered a different kind of artifact. The importance of studying these kinds of artifacts is that they have the potential of providing information about the way people interacted with the different resources (biotic and abiotic) in the past so that a better understanding of human behavior can be developed.



Figure 1. Geographic location of Punta Entrada.

Figure 2. Rompecráneo made of andesite. The base can be seen in the lower part of the image. Weight: 593 g.

Figure 3. Different view of the rompecráneo shown in Figure 2

Figure 4. Rompecráneo made of coquina. The base can be seen in the lower part of the image. Weight: 421 g.

Figure 5. Different view of the rompecráneo shown in Figure 3.

Figure 6. Bola stone made of andesite. Weight:1.476 kg.

Figure 7. Detail of the groove of the bola stone shown in Figure 6

Figure 8. Context of recovery of bola stone presented in Figure 6.


Author Biography

Daniela Soledad Cañete Mastrángelo, CONICET INAPL

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano
3 de Febrero 1378, CABA,


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How to Cite
Cañete Mastrángelo, D. (2021). Hunting on the coast: An image gallery of Rompecráneos. Journal of Lithic Studies, 8(1), 9 p. & 8 images.
Image galleries