The Late Epigravettian is one of the main European Late Palaeolithic cultural traditions covering the whole Late Glacial. Although it took place in a timespan marked by significant climatic and environmental changes, it is usually perceived as rather homogenous when compared to the cultural evolution of the western and northern regions of Europe. The present work aims at highlighting the variability of backed points production methods at Riparo Tagliente (VR, Italy), the only north-eastern Italian deposit encompassing the first part of the Late Glacial and the Bølling-Allerød interstadial (17,000–13,500 cal BP approximately). By applying a specifically designed methodology, a change in the modalities of blank selection and of retouch modes was highlighted. This supports the existence of two different ways of conceiving backed points in the time span between the last part of GS-2 and the first half of GI-1. The shift from narrow, thin and standardized backed points to thicker, wider and more variable backed points coincides with the beginning of the so-called “azilianization” process attested throughout a large part of Europe and characterized by the diffusion of specific traits in lithic technology and other cultural aspects. This phenomenon probably also affected the variability of Late Epigravettian backed points.
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