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Journal of Archaeological Research, Vol. 8, No.

4, 2000

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology
George H. Odell1

The literature of stone tool procurement and technology published in the past decade is reviewed in this article. The presentation attempts to be geographically comprehensive but, because of where it was written, it provides fuller coverage of New World publications, particularly those from North America, than of literature from the rest of the world. Topics covered include raw materials and procurement, ake experimentation, technology, and specic tool types. An article in a subsequent issue of this journal will discuss issues of function, behavior, and classication in lithic analysis.
KEY WORDS: lithic analysis; technology; procurement; stone tools.

INTRODUCTION This article documents trends in the prehistoric production of stone tools, dividing the subject into raw materials and procurement, ake experimentation, technology, and specic tool types. A subsequent article will discuss classication, function, and behavioral studies, and will contain acknowledgments for both. The last systematic review of the lithic analysis literature of which I am aware, by Yerkes and Kardulias (1993) in this journal, concentrated on two topics: replication and technological analysis of chipped stone artifacts, and microwear analysis. The present reviews attempt to cover all principal subtopics in the eld since the early 1990s. They draw more heavily from the North and Central American literature than literature from any other part of the world, primarily because these sources were the most accessible to me. I have not knowingly overlooked any region, but inhabitants of most countries outside the United States will probably not be very satised with my coverage of their area, a failing that I regret. The
1 Department

of Anthropology, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104. 269


2000 Plenum Publishing Corporation



alternative, however, would have taken considerably longer to produce, possibly with negligible increase in information.

RAW MATERIALS AND PROCUREMENT The nature of raw material should be an important consideration for lithic analysts, but we actually spend very little time deliberating the essence of that with which we do business. We leave that to geologists, but to our chagrin geologists have historically never been very intrigued by the types of rocksints, cherts, chalcedoniesthat interest us. Therefore, in the archaeological literature it is difcult to locate much information on processes that impinge on stones either before or after their deposition in the archaeological record. I have run across few recent treatises on archaeologically relevant subjects related to processes that act on stone. In one of these, Sheppard and Pavlish (1992) studied weathering processes on cherts from Lapita sites on the Reefs/Santa Cruz Islands in Oceania. The authors submitted thin-sectioned samples to neutron activation analysis, which allowed them to specify variables that contribute to weathering of cherts in tropical conditions. They found that cherts with very different degrees of weathering can be found on the same site; heating and mineralogy affect the rate of weathering; and variation in soil composition and pH affect the elemental composition of chert as weathering proceeds. Studying the patination of cherts in uvial condition, Howard (1999) argued that river patina is caused primarily by chemical dissolution of chert surfaces. And broaching the question of patination as a dating technique, Frederick et al. (1994) found no correlation between white patina commonly observed on siliceous rocks and soil pH. They concluded that the extent of patination on stone tools will never become a reliable dating method.

Mining and Quarrying Rock mining and quarrying in prehistoric Europe has been detailed in a series of articles in Ramos-Millan and Bustillo (1997). Notable among these is a general account of int mining in Europe by Lech (1997), who has constructed a series of useful distribution maps illustrating the occurrence of siliceous rocks on several Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites. One of the most important exploitation areas discussed by Lech is the Neolithic int mine at Jablines, France, a landscape literally pockmarked with mine shafts (Bostyn and Lanchon, 1997). This is the rst int mine in France to be investigated over a large surface area, albeit before a new TGV railroad line is constructed. At the Den of Boddam, one of the few int sources in Scotland, Saville (1997) documented hollows of int extraction pits

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


that have never been farmed. And in the most extensive of the projects reported in Ramos-Millan and Bustillos volume (Ramos-Millan and Bustillo, 1997), ve papers on the Krzemionki mining complex in Poland describe various elements of recent research into that remarkable place. They include descriptions of resistivity surveys for the purpose of tracing mining units, faults, and shafts under the landscape (Herbich, 1997), and reconstructions of commercial systems involving organized groups of miners competing with each other for extraction of material (Migal, 1997). Interesting studies of North American quarries include Cobb and Webbs description (Cobb and Webb, 1994) of an Onondaga chert quarry in New York that was most actively utilized in the Late Archaic period. The authors conrm our suppositions that, near a resource area, bifaces were not subjected to extensive reuse or rejuvenation. In another study in this genre, Gramly (1992) examined a Mississippian period workshop of a Dover chert extraction area in Tennessee. He excavated one household unit from which he estimated the duration of occupation from the number of ceramic vessels uncovered. From replicative knapping experiments, he derived estimates of the quantities of various tool types found on the site, which allowed him to calculate daily and yearly output and labor investment, and to speculate that the site was the home of full-time lithic craft specialists. In contrast to the two primary chert resource areas described earlier, Buck et al. (1994) investigated a dispersed procurement quarry in southern Nevada that yielded cobbles of chalcedony, chert, siliceous tuff, siliceous claystone, basalt, and small amounts of obsidian. They documented an opportunistic exploitation strategy that was probably embedded in the seasonal rounds of the exploiting peoples. Not all lithic exploitation areas involved chert, as other kinds of rock sources were also useful and intimately connected with the lives of the people who exploited them. In several regions of Central America, for example, obsidian was as abundant and frequently used as chert. In Mexico, open-pit obsidian quarries often appear as a series of doughnut-shaped depressions inside an elevated ring of waste chippage (Healan, 1997). Further north in Wisconsin, Hill (1994) discussed the extraction of Hixton silicied sandstone used to fashion a collection of Paleoindian projectile points. During this period, the quarry was probably visited regularly by generalized foragers who came here in the course of their seasonal rounds to replenish their tool kits. Sandstone was also important to Aboriginal peoples in Australia, where the material served distinct social functions. For instance, Mulvaney (1998) described a sandstone quarry in northern Australia that contained evidence for the manufacture of four different types of implements associated with Dreaming and with ceremonial exchange relations. A series of specular hematite mines has been reported from Botswana from which the Khoisan and Bantu derived materials that they smeared on their bodies and in their hair (Robbins et al., 1998).



Sourcing Analyses General Considerations Stones discovered on archaeological sites contain a wealth of information, some of which is inherent in their very place and nature of origin. Before this information can be applied to prehistoric occupations, however, it helps to know where the stones came from. An entire eld of study, termed sourcing analysis, has arisen around determining the origin of specic rocks. The most comprehensive view of the eld, including denitions, sampling considerations, and a massive bibliography, can be found in Church (1994). Until a few years ago, the sourcing of artifactual stones was conducted exclusively by visual methods. This is still the method preferred by most archaeologists, but a few renements have been added. A recent discovery that some cherts uoresce under ultraviolet light (Hofman et al., 1991) provided one property that might successfully discriminate one chert type from another. Shockey (1994), interested in the effects that heating might have on this uorescence effect, tested three chert types from Oklahoma and Texas. He found no quenching (i.e., effects on uorescence) in these cherts at temperatures up to 800 C. He continued his experimentation in light effects on contrasting cherts taken from primary versus secondary context (Shockey, 1995). Using polarized light, he found that cherts from primary context appear more anisotropic (polarized), whereas cherts from secondary context appear more isotropic (depolarized). Although some advances in visual discrimination have occurred, most visual techniques are inevitably subject to a certain amount of inaccuracy, a point emphasized by Moholy-Nagy and Nelson (1990). Taking a sample of 29 obsidian artifacts and 1 unworked nodule from Tikal, they sourced the stones rst visually, and then by X-ray uorescence. Almost half the sample was classied incorrectly by visual techniques, highlighting the unreliability of this method for distinguishing the substantial within-source variability of gray Mesoamerican obsidian. Shackley (1998) has provided a good synopsis and comparison of the most commonly employed instrumental geochemical analyses, concentrating on neutron activation analysis (NAA), X-ray uorescence (XRF), and proton-induced X-ray emission/proton-induced gamma ray emission (PIXEPIGME) analysis. He stressed that these techniques are not useful without a good understanding of geology, the chemical variability affecting source areas, and the nature of secondary depositional processes in the region of study. As an alternative to the instrumental geochemical techniques currently in vogue, Larson (1994) advocated a relatively easy, heuristic way of measuring variability within an assemblage. Originally proposed by Kelly (1985) and known as minimum nodule analysis, this method is also discussed under piece retting. It is not applicable to widespread, homogeneous resources, but it may be helpful

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


in situations where the visible attributes of exploited lithic resources are highly variable. It has been applied extensively, for example, to the varied chert resources of the Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming (Kelly, 1985; Larson, 1994).

Obsidian A large proportion of recent sourcing analyses has involved obsidian, a volcanic glass that can often be traced to a specic volcanic ow. Because of the expense of geochemical analyses and limited availability of suitable laboratories, the origin of most of obsidian is still determined on visual criteria. In instances where visual and geochemical determinations have been compared, visual techniques have been shown to be considerably less than accurate (e.g., Jackson and Love, 1991). However, Braswell et al. (1994) have achieved some success in assigning geological sources on the basis of visual criteria accompanied by abbreviated NAA with short irradiation procedures, in which pieces that cannot be assigned to a source with 95% accuracy are either not sourced or are submitted to a more extensive NAA procedure. Tykot and Ammerman (1997, p. 1005) also suggested that, for Mediterranean sources, a combination of visual sorting and X-ray analysis, using an electron microprobe, can increase sample size to a level suitable for accurate distributional analysis. In regions of volcanic activity such as Mesoamerica, substantial sourcing effort has been conducted using instrumental NAA. This research has provided characterizations of obsidian sources and contact or exchange relationships for several Mexican regions and sites (e.g., Joyce et al., 1995; Trombold et al., 1993). At the San Mart n Jilotepeque source in Guatemala, Braswell and Glascock (1998) were able to distinguish seven distinct chemical ngerprints corresponding to spatially discrete subsources within the principal source area. Such ne-grained discrimination, that is, knowing exactly which quarry was employed in a particular instance, may enable archaeologists to provide information on complex economic or kin-based relations. In South America, Ecuadorian sources east of Quito have been characterized through NAA and XRF analyses, using the Berkeley Reactor Facility (Asaro et al., 1994). Further south in Chile and Argentina, Seelenfreund et al. (1996) were able to separate obsidian sources into six major groups by clustering the results of PIXE/PIGME analyses. In North America, the Middle Woodland period has always held special fascination because of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere, a long-distance trading and redistribution network. Most obsidian samples of this period that have been analyzed originated at Obsidian Bluff, Wyoming, and this was also true of the only obsidian artifact ever found on a Kansas City Hopewell site (Hughes, 1995). Further east, Hatch et al. (1990) submitted some Ohio Hopewell samples for obsidian



hydration dating and for sourcing through NAA and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) analysis. They detected heterogeneity in the sample and concluded that the obsidian originated both at Obsidian Bluff and at the Camas-Dry Creek outcrop in Idaho. Their obsidian hydration dates were spread over several generations, indicating that not all the volcanic glass on Ohio sites had come from one collecting trip, as Jimmy Grifn speculated several years ago. This point was disputed by Hughes (1992), who disagreed with their conclusion that the artifacts were of different ages. Hughes cannot argue that all Midwestern Middle Woodland obsidian came from a single source, however, because his own analysis of four rare pieces from the American Bottom showed the presence of both Obsidian Bluff and Bear Gulch, Idaho, sources (Hughes and Fortier, 1997). The Obsidian Bluff source may not have been as prominent out on the Plains, as an analysis of a recent Lower Loup phase site in Nebraska indicated a source in the Jemez volcanic eld in northern New Mexico (Hughes and Roper, 1999). In the North American Southwest, it seems that previously unknown prehistoric sources of obsidian are being discovered with increasing frequency. For instance, gravel deposits in the Upper Gila drainage (Shackley, 1992) have now been identied as important sources of prehistoric obsidian tools. And using inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-atomic emission spectrometry, Stevenson and McCurry (1990) have identied four regional obsidian sources in New Mexico. Shackley (1995) has provided a recent synopsis of research in this region. In addition to the methods mentioned earlier, new ones are continuously being proposed and compared to the standard fare. In one of these, a technique employing the magnetic susceptibility of southwestern obsidians was evaluated as inexpensive and providing some degree of discrimination, but not robust enough to be used as a sole sourcing measure (Church and Caraveo, 1996). Most studies of this nature, of course, involve determining the locales or geologic formations from which obsidian artifacts in archaeological contexts originated. Although my research for this article has been a little light on Old World resources, it has been extensive enough to garner the impression that sourcing analyses are being conducted wherever a few pieces of obsidian show up on archaeological sites. In many cases, this substance moved a long wayfor example, from Gollu Dag in central Anatolia to the northern Negev during the Chalcolithic period (Yellin et al., 1996). Chert Artifacts of chert or int (the two terms are used here interchangeably) are more common on archaeological sites than those of obsidian, but geochemical methods for characterizing them have been slow in achieving widespread usage. Even now, geochemical analyses are too costly to be practical for most situations,

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


leaving room for more traditional methods. One of the most useful of these is petrographic analysis, using thin sections, which has proven successful with data from the northeastern United States (Lavin and Prothero, 1992) and for characterizing material from Neolithic int mines from Belgium and the Netherlands (McDonnell et al., 1997). Visual attributes of chert have also been characterized statistically with some success. Such a method was developed by Ferguson and Warren (1992), who collected visual data on 13 chert types from northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Submission to a discriminant function analysis yielded a mean classication accuracy of over 90%. From the most discriminatory variables, the authors constructed a chert identication tree for use in classifying any new piece from among the types tested. Geochemical applications include characterization of bluegray cherts (e.g., Cobden, Dongola, Wyandotte) that achieved widespread distribution in the Middle Woodland period of North America. A neutron activation analysis of several samples from the Clear Creek source area in Illinois yielded homogeneous results, which were successfully discriminated from Michigan samples supplied by Luedtke (Morrow et al., 1992). NAA was also used to discriminate Flattop Butte (Colorado) from South Dakota sources, as well as to characterize the White River Group silicates from the western United States and distinguish them from other sources (Hoard et al., 1992, 1993; though see Church, 1995, and Hoard et al., 1995). Hess (1996) also employed NAA in an initial characterization of chert sources in Oregons Columbia Plateau, where he established that three of four pieces that were supercially similar to a local source did not originate there. Other Lithic Materials Chert and obsidian may have been preferred for the manufacture of chipped stone implements, but they were by no means the only lithic substances employed by prehistoric people; research into the use and procurement of other materials has not lagged far behind. This research is difcult to characterize, because work has progressed on a number of different substances, using a wide variety of analytical techniques. Sometimes the simplest methods are the best; petrological techniques have proven effective in several instances. For example, Cooney and Mandal (1995) have contributed positively to the Irish Stone Axe Project, whose principal objective was to determine the location of origin of the prehistoric axes unearthed in that country. Petrological techniques allowed the authors to establish that porcellanite was the dominant raw material in the manufacture of these axes, and that a large proportion of them were manufactured in a limited number of production centers that exploited a restricted range of resources. Also using conventional petrological



techniques, Daniel and Butler (1996) characterized rhyolites in the Carolina Slate Belt, identifying 27 separate quarries. In other instances, petrological techniques have been used with geochemical techniques to good effect. In a study that also was ultimately concerned with heavy tools such as axes, Williams-Thorpe et al. (1999) employed both chemical and petrological methods to determine the sources of glacial erratics from southern England. Correlating these results with tools on archaeological sites provided evidence for the movement of receding Pleistocene ice along established trails and for human utilization of secondary deposits. Bakewell (1996) employed similar methods for volcanics from Washington state, beginning with petrological analyses and proceeding to inductively coupled plasma (ICP) studies of major elements, trace elements, and rare earths. Among geochemical techniques used on nonisotropic stones by sourcing specialists, XRF analysis has enjoyed considerable popularity. Williams-Thorpe et al. (1999) tested the technique on igneous rocks by comparing two types of XRF (portable and wavelength-dispersive). They found that, when samples were taken on fresh surfaces, the techniques compared well, but when they were taken on weathered surfaces, they frequently yielded different results. Basalts are typically porous, vesicular, and rough and have been troublesome to analyze by using X-ray uorescence. However, Latham et al. (1992) developed a nondestructive XRF technique that does not require smooth surfaces and seems well suited to archaeological applications. Hermes and Ritchie (1997a,b) also developed a nondestructive, energy-dispersive X-ray uorescence (EDXRF) technique for characterizing trace elements from felsitic rocks in New England. Geochemical techniques other than XRF have also been used to characterize igneous and metamorphic rocks. For instance, Weinstein-Evron et al. (1995) submitted basalts from two sites in the Levant to KAr dating and an AAS analysis. The latter established that the closest source to these sites was 60 km away, suggesting long-distance exchange by 13,000 years ago. Some discrimination of red ochre deposits from the western United States has been attained using PIXE PIGME techniques, though between-source compositional variability may exceed within-source variability in some cases (Erlandson et al., 1999). Finally, some effort in North America has been expended on steatite and catlinite, substances that are noteworthy in the prehistoric production of ceremonial pipes and other carved objects. Penman and Gunderson (1999) employed X-ray powder diffractometry analysis on catlinite found on Oneota sites in Wisconsin, concluding that the material came from the Pipestone Quarry in southwestern Minnesota. Truncer et al. (1998) used NAA to discriminate samples from eight steatite quarries in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Transition metals like zinc, cobalt, and iron proved to be better discriminators than did rare earth elements. And Hughes et al. (1998) attacked the conventional wisdom that all Hopewell platform pipes, especially the concentration associated with Illinois Havana Hopewell

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


sites, were quarried and manufactured in southern Ohio. Employing a suite of techniques including XRF, petrological, and distributional analyses, the authors established that all of the Havana Hopewell pipes were probably made from the berthierine-rich int clay deposits of northwestern Illinois. Likewise, it now appears that the famous pipes and gurines fabricated at Cahokia during the Mississippian period were also made of local int clays (Emerson and Hughes, 2000). These ndings have obvious ramications for distribution studies, involving the Hopewell Interaction Sphere and subsequent Mississippian trade networks. Use of Raw Materials Descriptions Descriptions of specic raw materials are not infrequent in the literature. The most extensive treatment of int and chert, including characteristics, origins, and chemical and mechanical properties, has been offered by Luedtke (1992). This is a good general background with which to compare descriptions of individual source areas. Resource descriptions for specic areas have also been offered, especially in western North America, and particularly Wyoming. For instance, Church (1996) studied the Bearlodge Mountains of northeastern Wyoming, from which he tested chalcedonies, cherts, and orthoquartzites by macro and micro descriptions, ultraviolet analysis, and X-ray uorescence. From these he generated a model of high-potential lithic resource procurement areas for the region. Also in Wyoming, Smith (1999) reported on 179 obsidian artifacts from 18 excavated and dated sites, tested through XRF techniques. He determined that huntergatherers employed obsidian from different sources in different ways, depending largely on the distance of the site from the source of raw material. Site/Area Comparisons Several recent studies have contrasted contemporaneous sites or inhabited areas where raw materials were abundant with those where they were rare to provide a perspective on the usage of raw materials in different situations. Differential occurrence of specic substances on different sites can be monitored through raw material frequencies and through various typotechnological variables, and compared with gravity models of falloff from source. In one study, Kuhn (1991) compared Grotta Guattari, which possessed an abundance of pebble chert, with Grotta di Sant Agostino, where stone raw material was not available locally. The effects of raw material availability were evident in the higher proportion of tested cobbles and casual cores at Guattari, but not in the frequency of retouched tools.



These were less abundant at Sant Agostino despite the paucity of local toolstones, suggesting that tool users were not compelled to conserve their material through constant sharpening. They may have been stockpiling the resource. Cores found in localities distant from sources were more completely consumed, a form of economizing behavior (Kuhn, 1995). Ricklis and Coxs analysis (Ricklis and Cox, 1993) of Late Prehistoric sites along the Texas coast adds support for gravity models. One procurement site in their sample lay near exposed Pliocene gravels, whereas the others were distant from it. The further a site was from the source, the lower the ake : tool ratio, the greater the percentage of bifacial thinning akes, and the shorter the Perdiz points became. The intensity of tool production at a particular locality was dependent not on trade, but on organization of technology. This relationship has also been reported from northern New Mexico, where Newman (1994) established that the mean volume of akes ( L W T ) became smaller with distance from the source. Other studies, however, have rejected such models. Henry (1992), for instance, compared two Jordanian Middle Paleolithic sites where the availability of raw materials differed greatly. Material abundance at the sites did not t a gravity model of falloff from the source, but could be best interpreted as having been caused by differences in mobility organization. In another study, an analysis of three contemporary Early Neolithic North African sites showed that, despite varying distances from the lithic source, all had similarly sized debitage. The need for bladelets and akes of a certain size overrode transportation constraints to the point that distancedecay models became inapplicable (Close, 1999). Distance decay models also appear to have limited validity for southeastern Italian Late Paleolithic sites (Milliken, 1998). Comparing sites with differing relationships to a material source can provide a perspective on regional organization of labor with respect to this technology. Working in the Maya region of Belize, Dockall and Shafer (1993) and Dockall (1994) developed a producerconsumer model in which the principal producer site, Colha, was compared to consumer occupations at Santa Rita Corozal, Pulltrouser Swamp, and Nohmul. Studies of oval bifaces showed that, at the consumer sites, technology was geared toward maintenance and recycling. Consequently, these assemblages contain few broken or aborted bifaces and distal fragments and no evidence for primary reduction; the length of their bifaces is considerably shorter than at the producer site. Colha provided formal tools to be used in a restricted range of tasks. A similar situation prevailed thousands of miles away in an entirely different context: the northern Italian Copper and Early Bronze Ages, the same region and period as Utzi, the recently discovered Alpine Ice Man (Spindler, 1994). At a quarry/workshop in this region, Negrino (1998) documented the specialized production of ogives similar to, though somewhat smaller than, the Colha oval bifaces, which were mass-produced and transported around the region for the manufacture of small daggers such as the one Utzi possessed.

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


Use of Materials Within a Site or Component Useful information can be gleaned from the distribution of raw materials within a site, as Hayden et al. (1996) have shown for the Keatley Creek settlement in interior British Columbia. At this large winter aggregation, the authors established that each pithouse unit contained a different spectrum of the ve major raw material groups present on the site. From these data they concluded that (1) each house constituted a corporate group; (2) these groups had practiced the same lifestyle for a long time; and (3) the groups went to different areas during their spring dispersal. Most other studies of this nature have employed typotechnological data for their interpretations. An analysis of an assemblage from the Combe-Capelle Bas site in France, for instance, established that nonlocal cores were smaller than local ones were, having been reduced further. According to predictions, but in contrast to the Sant Agostino example cited earlier, a higher percentage of nonlocal than local material was retouched (Roth and Dibble, 1998). Studies from western North America demonstrate that different raw materials were employed for specic kinds of tools. At one upland locale in Oregon, formal tools made of lowland cherts were transported there and replenished by local andesites (MacDonald, 1995). The exotic cherts and obsidians were represented primarily by nished tools and nal-stage debris, whereas local andesites were represented by early- and middle-stage bifaces and expedient tools. In another study from western North America, local raw material dominated the expedient tool category, whereas nonlocal materials dominated the formal tool types (Andrefsky, 1994). Exotic materials in this region were occasionally maximized by bipolar reduction. Working within the Paleoindian period, Amick (1999) established that Folsom people were selective in their choice of raw materials for specic tool types. They employed nonlocal materials disproportionately for weaponry and local materials predominantly for nonprojectile types such as scrapers. Finally, continuing work at the Hanson site in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming has shown that Phosphoria chert was brought into the site as preforms, which then were fashioned into projectile points and endscrapers. The preponderance of bifacial thinning and edge retouch akes of Phosphoria chert in contrast to the abundance of core reduction akes of Morrison quartzite illustrates the different uses of these two substances (Ingbar, 1992).

Use of Materials in Different Periods Raw material use changed over time in most regions, though the mechanics of this change have usually not been specied. But in one recent study of the Estremadura region of Portugal, Thacker (1996) illustrated different exploitative



strategies of Upper Paleolithic Gravettian and Magdalenian groups that sequentially inhabited this region. Magdalenian people were more sparing of resources than Gravettian folks were, moving their int further, using smaller implements, and engaging in a more expeditious use of quartzite. To the northeast, in the Polish region around Krakov, Kozlowski (1998) also established that different procurement strategies were practiced by the Gravettian, Epigravettian, and Magdalenian groups. Differences in raw material distribution may be attributable to differences in their relative accessibility. Studying West New Britain obsidian sources that have been utilized for the past 20,000 years, Torrence et al. (1996) found signicant differences in their patterns of exploitation. These differences were probably caused, in part, by sea level changes and tectonic uplift that affected the Willaumez Peninsula, where some of the most important sources were located. Changing relationships between land and water may have caused the inundation of some sources and changed the overall accessibility of others. Other investigations suggest that sociopolitical factors played an important role in raw material distributions, and that these effects varied from one period to another. In one recent study in northern New Mexico, Walsh (1998) related raw material diversity to local competition for chert, obsidian, and basalt resources. His results suggest that ready availability (high diversity) of resources in the Early Coalition period gave way to constricted use of space and competition for resources (low diversity) in the Late Coalition period. Diversity increased again in the Classic period, as aggregated settlements established buffer zones that allowed people to range freely within a territory. Political, or at least social, considerations were also foremost in a study of archaeological obsidian and chert on the Reefs/Santa Cruz Islands of Melanesia (Sheppard, 1993). In these remote islands, in which all toolstone materials had to be imported, the amount of obsidian transported to the sites decreased over time. Because these tools were not utilized more thoroughly than other tools were and their use was not specialized, reasons for the decline probably relate to the decreasing social or political value of the commodity. Likewise, lack of sociopolitical import was a factor in a study of igneous rocks from central Arkansas that were used as heavy-duty tools from the Middle Archaic through Poverty Point periods (Rolingson and Howard, 1997). The widespread distribution of these materials indicated that the dominant Toltec Mounds polity did not control access to these materials or process them. Artifact Distributions The idea of a distribution can be understood in a variety of ways, of which I consider only two. The rst is the spatial distribution of artifacts within a region or a site. Because this topic is more effectively discussed as a separate methodology

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


than with lithic analysis, my discussion here is brief. Regionally, Takacs-Biros analysis (Takacs-Biro, 1998) of raw material use in the Middle Neolithic through Chalcolithic periods of Hungary is noteworthy. In this study, density maps were presented for six raw material type groups for each of three periods, a procedure that facilitated the detection of trends in raw material utilization in Central Europe. Using lithic materials, a few intrasite spatial analyses have been conducted recently. One such investigation involved a Gravettian habitation in Austria that yielded distinct clustering of scrapers (Montet-White and Williams, 1994). A second study synthesized spatial patterning for several Western European Paleolithic sites. Koetje (1994) detected three basic types of internal spatial patterning hearth-focused, area-focused, and structure-focusedand produced some evidence for similar general use of localities from the Lower Paleolithic through Magdalenian periods. The other type of distribution considered here is the differential occurrence of raw materials and type groups within a region. For instance, using grid data and analytical techniques employing dimensional analysis of variance, Ebert and Camilli (1993) compared distributions from various sites from the Seedskadee survey in Wyoming. Their goal was to derive quantitatively based impressions of the degree of expedient or curated tool use in the region. Concentrating on a specic raw material, Peterson et al. (1997) inspected obsidian patterning on 11 Hohokam sites in the American Southwest. They detected limited evidence for trade in nished products, a relatively even distribution of obsidian across several large platform mound sites, and the occurrence of nonlocal obsidian at smaller sites without public architecture. They concluded that a kinbased reciprocity model best t their data. In a similarly conceived investigation, Tankersley (1994) monitored the distribution of several well-known chert types on Clovis sites. He concluded that stylistically homogeneous and selective Clovis artifacts moved large distances in a single directionrepresentative of what one might predict from a colonizing population. FLAKE EXPERIMENTATION Some of the most important current work in the eld is being accomplished experimentally, in attempting to understand the mechanical processes that contribute to the fracture of brittle solids. This research is different from replicative experimentation in that, instead of recreating a particular object and the human motor responses necessary to produce it, ake experimentation is primarily concerned with the mechanical principles of fracture, it provides tight controls on relevant variables, and it carefully measures specic attributes of the systems under scrutiny. In my opinion, understanding the ways rocks break constitutes the heart of lithic analysis, because this element is essential for comprehending processes of reductionthe quintessential lithic imperativeas it governs the form



of both manufacture and usewear. Without understanding this element, we cannot understand the eld. Some detail is necessary to explain what is going on here. In one series of experiments, Bradbury and Carr (1999) compared soft- and hard-hammer percussion and biface, uniface, bipolar, and core reduction, asserting that there is room for both stage- and continuum-based approaches among our standard techniques. Employing a continuum model, they developed a classication function enabling a researcher to distinguish biface from core reduction akes. Apart from this, most of the recent work in this eld has been accomplished at the University of Pennsylvania, using a mechanical device that drops steel ball bearings onto plate glass cores. The basis for most of the recent studies in this genre is Dibble and Whittakers analysis (Dibble and Whittaker, 1981), which arrived at two paramount conclusions: (1) for any platform angle, mass is a function of platform thickness (PT) and (2) for any PT, larger exterior platform angles (EPA) result in larger akes. This study established PT and EPA as variables essential for comprehending how rocks fracture. The good news is, these are not variables, such as angle of blow or weight of indenter, that can no longer be measured on archaeological specimens; they are measurable entities that appear in any collection of chipped stone tools and are thus available to any interested prehistorian. To make sure that this was the case, Dibble and Pelcins study (Dibble and Pelcin, 1995) reestablished that both indenter mass and velocity are important, but that neither has a major effect on determining ake mass; 81% of ake mass is accounted for by EPA and PT. The essential concept here is ake mass, which controls other variables; for example, an increase in a variable such as EPA necessitates a decrease in other variables such as PT to render the same mass. These relationships were reinforced by another set of experiments in which Pelcin (1997c), using steel ball indenters and glass edge cores with a constant blow angle of 70 , varied EPA at increments of 15 , 35 , 55 , and 75 . He found that ake initiation is determined not by amount of force or indenter type, but by PT and EPA. PT also affects terminations, for as this variable increases there is a progression through six termination types. An unexpected result of this study was that one can produce bending akes with a hard hammer by increasing PT on a core with a low EPA. Thus the indicators we have been using to distinguish hardfrom soft-hammer percussion should be reexamined. These variables were also tested by Dibble (1997) on a sample of 12,000 complete akes from Europe and the Near East. He demonstrated that both EPA and striking platform area (PT PW or platform width) affect ake weight, whereas scar morphology has little relation to the size of the ake. Striking platform morphologies differ as a function of raw material, each raw material type having its own curve for these relationships. Another study (Pelcin, 1997b) determined the effect of indenter type, comparing ball bearing (hard) to antler (soft), at a 70 angle. Results showed that antler

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


akes were longer and thinner with no difference in width, but with less expansion. No difference in mass was produced by the two indenter types. Antler-produced akes had thinner bulbs of percussion for small PT, though there was no significant difference for large PT. Perhaps most important for analysts, lipping of the impacted area did not distinguish indenter type. Pelcin (1997a) also investigated the role of core surface morphology on resulting akes, using steel balls and controlling two variables: edge versus face core and 55 versus 75 angles of blow. As before, ake length and thickness increased with increases in PT; more importantly, akes from the edge core were longer than those from the face core, although there was no difference between the average mass of the akes removed from the two core types. This experiment determined that an increase in PT increases ake mass, but core morphology determines how mass is distributed. Conversely, ake mass is unaffected by core morphology. Of course, there has been a reaction to all these steel balls being dropped onto cores with undifferentiated at dorsal surfaces. Cores simply never look like that, and at some point there is a need to relate these ndings to the real world. In an attempt to render these results useful for analysts, Davis and Shea (1998) knapped 33 obsidian akes, used (actually, abraded) them, and then sharpened them. The authors conrmed the relationship between ake mass and platform area, but an attempt to use Pelcins predictor equation of predicted mass : reduced mass resulted in at least a 33% underestimation of original ake mass. As they saw it, Pelcin failed to adequately incorporate platform width (PW) along with PT and EPA in his calculations. The authors advocated the use of triangular-shaped cores in experiments like this. In his reply, Dibble (1998) agreed that the omission of PW in the calculations probably led to a systematic error in the result. Pelcin (1998), however, did not agree that PW was an important enough variable to be included, citing support for this position from his dissertation and new data, suggesting that the accuracy of estimating original ake mass can vary considerably depending on the type of initiation. Thus we ought to separate conchoidal from bending akesa pretty difcult distinction to achieve in reality. He also defended the original experimental program, saying that these were laboratory-controlled conditions and are not directly applicable to real-life conditions. But here we return to Davis and Sheas reason for testing these propositions in the rst place: If there is no relation, then who cares?

TECHNOLOGY By technology I mean the various processes that contribute to the production of stone tools, including strategies of manipulation and sequencing, knapping equipment, and knowledge of raw materials and operative forces. This is a large



and complex subject, and I have created divisions somewhat arbitrarily, according to where research efforts have been conducted. Flintknapping Times have changed for intknappers. As depicted sympathetically in Whittakers interview (Whittaker, 1996) with one of the last of the Cypriot knappers, in most areas of the world this is a relict trade whose economic worth has been superseded by other technologies. For 10 years, before such knappers became obsolete in the 1950s, Alphredos Andreou traveled from village to village, repairing threshing sledges and making inserts for them for separating grain from chaff and for breaking straw into small bits. Similar technologies are still being employed for the manufacture of int inserts for threshing sledges in Segovia, Spain (Benito del Rey and Benito Alvarez, 1994). Theirs was a relatively simple technology but only a few people were procient in the craft, particularly in its later days. Likewise, observations of intknapping among Highland New Guinea natives before the incursion of metals revealed a simple, hand-held, hammer-and-core technology with no core preparation (Watson, 1995). Flintknapping is still being practiced among the Lacandon Maya, though increasingly rarely. Clarks recent study (Clark, 1991) demonstrated how blade workshops can be identied among these people and suggested spatial relationships between dumps and workshops. Today intknapping has become popular once again but, as Mike Collins has reminded me, both as an avocation and as an unscrupulous, market-oriented activity. The pursuit of prot has recently spawned a huge controversy over the origin of beautifully crafted Clovis and other Paleo points that began showing up on antiquities markets in the late 1990s. Some nifty detective work by Ken Tankersley pointed the nger at a modern knapper from Georgia, who ultimately admitted the forgeries (Preston, 1999). The practice has spawned at least three manuals designed both as professional sources and as how-to books for the novice (Baena Preysler, 1998; Patten, 1999; Whittaker, 1994), though Waldorfs The Art of Flintknapping (Waldorf, 1979) continues to be a strong inuence, particularly on the avocational practitioner. Inizan et al. (1992) have produced a competent compendium of common techniques and terminology, particularly for European technologists. Studies of the results of knapper behavior are of obvious import to archaeologistsas, for example, Kvammes recent development of an exponential equation (Kvamme, 1997) for the distribution of debris around a standing knapper. Flintknapping also serves as an effective hands-on tool for generating interest among students in the more general subject of archaeology (Rosen and Clark, 1996). In fact, it has become so popular that professionals are beginning to worry about contamination of the prehistoric record by the remains of modern practitioners (Dickson, 1996). The most recent even-handed analysis of this situation is

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by Whittaker and Stafford (1999), who documented the increasing destruction of archaeological sites and the creation of bogus ones by modern intknappers. The authors appraisal of modern knapping by avocationists is not overwhelmingly negative, however, because (1) professional archaeologists engaged in this pursuit have also unwittingly created bogus sites; (2) many avocational knappers are very protective of the archaeological resource; (3) knap-ins have provided a valuable learning environment for lithic technologists; and (4) the interface between professionals and avocationals engaged in this activity has provided one of the best reality checks we have of the publics perception of archaeology. One could ask, What sorts of people are pursuing this activity these days? This was on Olaussons mind (Olausson, 1998) when she sent out two questionnaires: one to known knappers and a shorter version to novices in her beginning classes at Lund University. Several qualities of a good knapper became apparent: patience, competitiveness, handeye coordination, imagining three-dimensional objects, and a creative or artistic bent. This exercise supported the contention that this is a male-dominated activity, and that everybody can do it, but only a few can do it well.

Technological Analyses A bread-and-butter issue among lithic analysts is the synopsis of tool production in an assemblage, that is, depicting the processes used within one cultural group to bring a piece of stone from nodule or blank to usable implement. Although they do not ignore by-products, these studies emphasize the end products, or the tools themselves. These kinds of analyses are too numerous for complete coverage here, but a few studies sufce to indicate what is being accomplished. I divide the eld into Old and New World applications and general technological issues. Old World Data In the literature that I have consulted on assemblage reconstruction, most attention has been paid to the Middle Paleolithic period. Technologists have gained considerable ground in understanding the Levallois reduction strategy, work spearheaded by Eric Boedas dissertation and his subsequent studies of French Mousterian industries (Boeda, 1986, 1995). Notable among additional analyses are distinctions between recurrent centripetal Levallois debitage and debitage from non-Levallois discoidal techniques (Boeda, 1993; Lenoir and Turq, 1995). Two studies of this period have emphasized non-Levalloisian techniques. In one, Kuhn (1995) discussed the lithic industries of Grotta di Sant Agostino, Italy. These do not t most classical denitions of the Levallois technique, though core types do not contradict recent denitions of the concept. Kuhn interpreted the



lack of core preparation at the site as a result of raw material constraints, that is, use of small cobble blanks. The selection of a cobble with an appropriate crosssection would serve the same purpose as a prepared Levallois core, rendering the distinction operationally meaningless in this case. In the second study, Pelegrin (1995) investigated the incipient blade industries of the Chatelperronian layers at Roc-de-Combe and La Cote, France. At these sites Neanderthals fabricated short blades for use as Chatelperronian points. Pelegrin saw no inuences from industries produced by anatomically modern Homo sapiens, suggesting that the two subspecies generally avoided each other. Although many of the analyses of Middle Paleolithic material have been conducted on European assemblages, Africa and the Middle East have not been neglected. I have not concentrated on these areas, but I would be remiss if I omitted the work of van Peer (1992) on Levallois strategies in the Nile Valley. His reconstructions of reduction sequences have demonstrated Mousterian technical efciency and standardization in this region, and their determination of ake shape by controlling the placement of dorsal ridges. The often-cited BordesBinford debate has provided ample grist for discussion over the years, and remnants of that debate are still being felt. On the Bordesian, or ethnic, side of the issue, several scholars have studied one Mousterian facies or another, trying to gure out what commonalities hold it together. Recently Turq (1992) has determined that the Quina facies of southern France, characterized by a limited degree of core preparation and scarcity of core maintenance products but a high proportion of modied akes, represented highly mobile foragers. Primarily in rock shelters, Quina sites were frequently reoccupied and exhibited a distinct lack of functional specicity. Van Peer (1991) has been even more explicit in stating that the North African lithic industries he depicts probably represented ethnic divisions. Based on typological and technological indices, he noted two very different groups of industries, which he equated with specic peoples. One of these, an indigenous, riverineadapted Nile Valley population, evolved into the Upper Paleolithic inhabitants of the region. Alongside these people he detected a desert/varied environmentadapted Nubian population with complex cultural features (van Peer, 1998). Many American researchers of the Middle Paleolithic have declared, Nietzsche-like, that Bordes is deadmeaning that, although distinct differences among Mousterian assemblages exist, variability within them was caused primarily by technological and functional factors rather than by the stylistic elements that induced Bordes to interpret the divisions along lines of ethnic difference. Freeman (1992, p. 114) has remained unconvinced of the facies argument on ethnographic grounds: No sociocultural groups I knew of from the ethnographic record distinguished themselves from their neighbors by making different proportions of the same kinds of tools those neighbors made. The concept was also quantitatively problematic, as tool assemblages in different facies were rarely signicantly

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


different from one another in a statistical sense. Freemans latest salvo (Freeman, 1992) detailed a situation impossible to explain in Bordesian terms: large assemblages representing different Mousterian facies in a single, relatively short, occupation level (Cueva Morin, level 16). Using several Middle Paleolithic assemblages from southern France, Dibble and Roland (1992) supported this argument by showing that Mousterian groups varied from one another on suites of different attributes, each of which varied in continuous, not discrete, fashion. They also demonstrated some correlation with climate, for example, Quina with cold, denticulate with warm. The Middle Paleolithic was not the only period in which tool shapes were transformed from one type to another, of course. In Upper Paleolithic Dabba industries at Haua Fteah, for example, Hiscock (1996) showed how scrapers were modied into burins and vice versa, sometimes repeatedly. This somewhat unique structuring of an Upper Paleolithic assemblage complicates any attempt to demonstrate how any type is the end product in a sequence of reduction. Finally, Chazan (1995) tested the proposition that the Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition was the result of language development. He found no signicant differences in cutting-edge efciency, tool standardization, or assemblage structure, distinctions that might be linked to linguistic capabilities. Instead, he found technofunctional differences such as the Upper Paleolithic use of soft hammers, concentration of retouch on the proximal and distal ends, and inclusion of light projectile points or blades functioning as barbs.

New World Data The New World discussed here is mostly North America, though some of the following is probably generalizable to Central and South America as well. Because a large proportion of New World assemblages has a bifacial component, technological discussion tends to emphasize bifacial trajectories. And because hafted bifaces, often called projectile points, constitute the most specic and labor intensive of these, they have received the most attention. In the literature of American lithic technology, there is no more popular object than the Paleoindian point, primarily because of the distinctive basal uting on many of them. Several scholars have tried to establish technological parameters for these artifacts, such as reduction sequences (Morrow, 1995) and failure rates (Ellis and Payne, 1995). A technological continuum between North and South American uted points suggests their common origin, but specic differences are also apparent. Morrow and Morrows comparison (Morrow and Morrow, 1999) of uted points from North, Central, and South America demonstrated a continuum of change from one continent to another within three shape indices. The most striking of these was a gradual increase of the lateral indentation index from



north to south (indicating increasing shtailness toward the south). They argued that uting developed in the interior of North America and spread north and south from there, individual attributes eventually diverging through processes of stylistic drift. Gnecco (1994) showed that, in South America, uting technology was also associated with projectile point styles from other periods, impairing its use as a chronological marker. An example of this type of study applied to a later cultural group is Keyser and Fagans analysis (Keyser and Fagan, 1993) of a McKean Culture component at the Lightning Spring site, South Dakota. The debris was characterized by small bifacial sharpening and rejuvenation akes; an analysis of the bifaces revealed a sequence of ake removals and a legacy of knapping errors. The resulting impression was that the knappers had a standard template, probably for the manufacture of Duncan points. In another assemblage from the Great Plains, Ahler (1992) presented a conceptual system, derived from Schiffers model of systemic context, for interpreting the reduction sequence of Plains Village arrowheads. Data from 57 fractured and retted arrowheads resulted in a classication of fracture types and an assessment of systemic categories. Points might progress through seven stages, from blank procurement through recycling. Retting techniques highlighted failures that arrested an object in a particular portion of the sequence. Technological analyses have been conducted not just on prehistoric habitations, but on a variety of sites. For instance, retting and experimentation allowed Petraglia (1994) to interpret a quartzite quarry on the Potomac River in Virginia. In several excavation blocks within the quarry, he was able to distinguish specic activities, from biface production to anvil and hard-hammer percussion of ake blanks. Analyses of other sites demonstrate where these blanks and preforms usually ended up. In one of these small Late Classic sites in Guatemala, Aldenderfer (1991) was able to specify areas of relatively intense biface production and specialized unifacial tools, though the initial shaping of cores and the production of tools used in extractive tasks occurred elsewhere. Deller and Ellis (1992) also determined that primary reduction at Thedford II, a Parkhill Complex camp in Ontario, occurred at the quarry, with nished tools and preforms sent to the camp. Despite the lack of primary reduction, the analysts were able to depict two reduction strategies for ake blanks and bifacially worked cores. Strategies were characterized by their differential orientation to the banding within the tabular chert that was being exploited. In yet another type of site, a protohistoric cache in Oklahoma, Wyckoff (1992) employed retting techniques to model knapping strategies. General Issues For years lithic analysis has remained without a general how-to guide of the sort that has proliferated among other material classes, but at long last we have

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


one: Andrefskys Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis (Andrefsky, 1998). Its principal focus is technological, and it should simplify planning for college courses in this subject. With respect to new technologies that can be applied to technological analyses, image digitization may provide a solution for a multitude of problems. This equipment is explained and applied to scraper retouch and biface orientation in McPherron and Dibble (1999). Archaeological techniques for understanding prehistoric technology continue to include experimentation. For example, Sahnouni et al. (1997) were concerned about the formation of limestone spheroids at Ain Hanech and other Early Paleolithic sites in East Africa. One possibility for the formation of these forms was their employment as cores, so the authors embarked on an experimental program of making akes from 150 pieces of limestone. The results revealed a progression from one known core type through another, all present at the site. The experimenters established that spheroids may represent an extreme end of a reduction continuum for limestone cores. Not only do techniques like experimentation recur from time to time, but so do our research questions. One of these is the old eolith controversy, that is, how does one distinguish artifacts from geofacts? Peacock (1991) was interested in whether or not some questionable artifacts from a Hoxnian deposit at Kirmington in southern England were really produced by human beings. He compared artifacts from known archaeological sites with nonartifactual stones, arriving at eight variables that were helpful in discriminating between natural and artifactual akes. The Kirmington akes were not a perfect t for either group, but were closer to the artifactual than to the natural side; therefore, some of these akes are probably genuine. Debitage Analyses Marois (1993) has advocated the creation of an archaeological multilanguage dictionary that would clarify the meanings of commonly used terms in one language for users who speak another. A major impetus for such an idea was the confusion caused by the term debitage, which in French means the action that consists of the intentional fracture of a block of stone, either to give it a particular shape or to use the products resulting from that fracture (Marois, 1993, p. 47). In typical American usage, the term means chipping debris, though Near Eastern archaeologists employ it to denote blanks that could be made into tools. Because my research has primarily involved the American literature, the term is used here to mean chipping debris. The goal of debitage analysis is to understand the processes of tool production in a prehistoric society by studying the debris that results from lithic reduction. In some cases these akes constitute by-products; in others, they were usable tools in their own right. Shott (1994) has produced a useful synopsis of recent



developments in debitage analysis, and Andrefsky (1998) has provided an outline of the various approaches to the subject. Testing Types of Analysis Debitage analysis has always been a difcult endeavor, because the meaning of seemingly undifferentiated akes is not immediately obvious. A substantial amount of labor has been expended in nding variables that correlate with specic parameters in which we are interested. This situation has caused some frustration among analysts, which explains why Sullivan and Rozens analytical system (Sullivan and Rozen, 1985) took the eld by storm. Discriminating akes on the basis of breakage types, it offered a decision key that simplied the process for even the most inexperienced of analysts. The problem is, what do these breakage types tell you? The main concern among many analysts has been the very popularity of the system, that is, if everybody decides to analyze their rocks in this way, and if the results do not provide much useful information, then we will be left with a huge quantity of analyses that are essentially meaningless. Needless to say, this fear has spawned an impressive backlash that has continued well into the 1990s. In one of the latest salvos, Prentiss (1998) produced a series of experimental debitage assemblages in obsidian, using hard and soft hammers and pressure akers. He then assigned them to SullivanRozen categories and sifted the akes through a 1/4-inch mesh screen. Based on principal components analysis, the results indicated that the SullivanRozen system is highly reliable in the sense that it produces consistent results. However, its validity is suspect, as the variability produced among the ve assemblages was so great that distinctive assemblages could not be identied. Austin (1999) also replicated debitage assemblages, assigned categories, screened the akes, and subjected the data to multivariate analysis (this time, discriminant function). He achieved high accuracy rates, but only on pure assemblages. When he simulated mixed assemblages of patterned tool : core reduction, bivariate plots of the rst two functions yielded centroids intermediate between centroids of the pure assemblages. Thus he could tell, using these methods, whether or not a debitage assemblage was mixed and in which direction. In an attempt to isolate factors responsible for assemblage variability, Amick and Maulden (1997) conducted knapping experiments with cores and bifaces/tools to study the effects of raw materials on breakage patterns. Using SullivanRozen categories, they achieved greatest discrimination with split akes in basalt and quartzite. They concluded, Breakage patterns fail to behave consistently with any variables other than raw material (Amick and Maulden, 1997, p. 25) and would not recommend use of this system for interpreting debitage types. Morrow (1997) included the SullivanRozen breakage typology in a comparison with mass analysis, striking platform attributes, and metric attributes in

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


another series of replicated debitage experiments. He found that the only category that possessed technological discriminatory power in this system was shatter. The other systems were appropriate for discriminating some parameters, but ineffectual for others. His principal point was that it is most effective to employ more than one type of debitage analysis on an assemblage. Indeed, Bradbury (1998) applied this concept, combining mass and individual ake analyses to establish that an Early Archaic Kirk-component site in Kentucky functioned as a production center for bifaces that were transported and used elsewhere. Root (1997) also combined these two analytical types to estimate tool production at the Benz site in North Dakota. He found evidence of production for exchange (i.e., production of more tools than would have been needed for a household) during Late Paleoindian Cody Complex and Late Archaic times. Considering debitage analysis from a different perspective, Steffen et al. (1998, p. 145) have suggested that to treat assemblages as representative of complete reduction trajectories might be counterproductive. Rather, we should consider tool production as core reduction and treat individual pieces as representative of the core at the point in the production process when removal occurred; thus, debitage represents the manufacture process by representing the state of the core. At this point it is unclear what practical benet might accrue from this shift in emphasis, and the idea has not yet been independently evaluated. Testing Variables One of the elements that has made debitage analysis so difcult is that analysts have not been certain which variables were most valuable in discriminating parameters of interest such as reduction stage or trajectory. At least two studies have made some headway on this problem. The rst (Bradbury and Carr, 1995) involved a series of 11 reduction experiments in Ft. Payne chert, submitting 8 variables to cluster and factor analyses. The authors found that lipping was exclusively limited to soft-hammer reduction, but many soft-hammer akes do not show this attribute. Cortex cover varied a lot and should not be employed as a primary dening attribute. The best discriminating variable among platform remnant-bearing (PRB) akes was platform facet count; among non-PRBs, it was dorsal facet count. The use of additional variables increased the probability of success in predicting the reduction stage. It is interesting that Bradbury and Carrs study supported Ahlers mass analysis system, using nested screens, but only for unmixed assemblages. Another study that employed nested screens involved archaeological debitage from Tula, Mexico. Under the assumption that secondary refuse areas would contain larger debris than primary reduction locales would, Healan (1995) used factor analysis to distinguish refuse dumps from reduction loci. Signicantly, primary reduction occurred between the houses and pits, not within the houses.



In another experimental assay, Shott (1996b) recorded the replication of a Gainey uted point of Wyandotte chert. He found no evidence of discrete stages in any of the attributes tested; instead, the average log-weight of akes decreased and log-scar density increased continuously with the amount of reduction. Like Bradbury and Carr, he was skeptical about the use of cortex cover to dene stages, as there was no simple decline in this attribute with ake removal number. Analytical Techniques Efciency Experiments I have already alluded to several techniques that archaeologists have been using to interpret lithic assemblages. Two that have been relatively popular are efciency experiments and piece retting. Efciency experiments have been as varied as the questions archaeologists are required to answer. Several experiments in primitive agriculture, though not necessarily involving stone implements, are reported in Anderson (1992b). A popular subject of experimentation in this eld is the sickle. Skakun has experimented liberally with this implement in Bulgaria; in one series she established that sickles of the Karanovo type, that is, in which the blades are slightly offset from one another, are more efcient than straight-bladed sickles are (Skakun, 1993a). Quintero et al. (1997) also conducted an extensive series of sickle experiments, establishing important parameters with regard to raw material hafting, serration, moisture content, and damage. Another common subject of experimentation concerns the efcacy of specic intknapping techniques. For example, to understand how early hominids made tools, Schick and Toth (1993) conducted a suite of replicative experiments. Fontana and Nenzioni (1998) pursued a similar tactic for comprehending the pebble industry practiced prehistorically in the vicinity of Bologna, Italy. Likewise, Patterson (1995) pursued an experimental trajectory for determining the efcacy of chert akes as pressure aking tools. Finally, the efciency of several specic tools has been investigated by these methods. One of these tools, though most of its apparatus does not involve stone, is the atlatl and dart (Baugh, 1998; Couch et al., 1999). Another is the stone axe, which Mathieu and Meyer (1997) compared with bronze and steel axes. They concluded that all materials were effective for tree trunks of small diameter, but with larger diameter trunks, the thickness of stone axes became a barrier to penetration. Piece Retting Conjoining akes or fragments in an assemblage has been a benecial way to infer qualities that otherwise would remain conjectural. One of its principal uses

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


has been to acquire a detailed understanding of lithic technologies. This goal was achieved at Tourville-la-Riviere, France, a 200,000-year-old Saalian siteone of the earliest camps to have yielded this sort of information (Guilbaud and Carpentier, 1995). It has also been employed to establish a diversity of reduction stages and methods at Acheulean sites in the Somme region of France (Lamotte, 1999). Another use of retting analysis is to ascertain the integrity of occupation surfaces. Jodry (1992), for example, used this technique to infer that the ve stone artifact concentrations at Stewarts Cattle Guard site in Colorado were deposited on the same surface. Similarly, Grimm and Koetje (1992) documented several distinct knapping events in the same area of the Solvieux site in France, an unlikely occurrence if the level was disturbed. In a slightly different vein, Hofman (1992a) used retting to demonstrate that a single occupation surface of a site on a river terrace in Tennessee was represented by material dispersed vertically more than 50 cm. Another issue that retting has helped resolve is whether or not retooling and curation (in this case, transporting artifacts from one locale to another) occurred. This was important to Conard and Adler (1997) at Wallertheim D in the Rhineland because they were dealing with a Middle Paleolithic occupation. Retting of red brown rhyolite artifacts in the western concentration at the site supported a retooling and recycling episode, which strongly suggested advance planning. Of course, the further one retreats in time, the more conjectural this concept becomes, so evidence of advance planning at early hominid sites such as Koobi Fora in Kenya can be quite important in reconstructing the lives of these remote ancestors. Even for this period, Schick (1991) was able to establish transport distances of 35 km and frequently more than 10 km. Even if the transport occurred in small increments, this is considerably more than comparable behavior among modern chimpanzees. The issue of intersite transport was also of concern at the Early Archaic Twin Ditch site in the lower Illinois Valley. Morrow (1996) identied several ghosts (holes in retted cores from artifacts that were removed from the site) and orphans (transported-in artifacts that do not ret to anything). These not only indicated the extent of intersite transport, but also that the sites duration of occupation was not longer than the use-life of a formal bifacial tool. Similarly, Closes conjoining analysis (Close, 1996) of sand ripple occupations in the Sahara of southern Egypt established connections among these settlements that suggested recycling and a circuitous pattern of movement. These people used pack animals to haul large stone nodules, and they stockpiled the stone. Retting of pieces from one household group to another within a site has been established most effectively at the Late Pleistocene camp of Pincevent south of Paris. Here akes, bone, and rough stone were conjoined not only within major artifact concentrations, but between them, constituting evidence for contemporaneity and a communal lifestyle (Bodu, 1991). Occupants spread red ochre liberally on their cores, perhaps to provide better purchase for the percusser (Bafer et al.,



1991). And they reduced their nodules within two trajectories: large cores for large, standardized blades; smaller cores of lesser quality for tools used in more expedient tasks. Retting of heated stones allowed the recognition of evolution in hearth forms (Julien et al., 1992). Finally, there is the issue of what to do if piece retting does not work. In one instance, Durbet (1993) experienced very low proportions of conjoining at an undisturbed Mousterian site, a situation that suggested complex explanations such as cleaning around the hearth, and so forth. If there is sufcient variability in raw material, one could try a minimum analytical nodule (MAN) analysis (see Kelly, 1985). That is, if a piece does not ret to another but one can be reasonably certain that the two pieces came from the same nodule, this information can be employed for many of the same purposes as conjoining analyses. MAN analysis has been successfully applied to sites with chert from the variegated Madison Formation of the Bighorn Mountains (Larson and Kornfeld, 1997).

Prehistoric Techniques Bipolar Reduction Most lithic reduction in prehistory, like today, was probably accomplished through freehand techniques, so reduction mode is not stated in most reports. Where this aspect is discussed, it must be notable in its own right. Such a situation occurs with bipolar reduction, a crude core- or nodule-smashing technique that would not be worthy of mention except for what it implies about the availability of raw materials. That is, nobody would normally engage in such uncontrolled knapping behavior unless they wished to conserve material by making use of every last fragment at their disposal. For example, at the Upper Mississippian Washington Irving site in Illinois, Jeske (1992) noticed the seemingly degenerate lithic technology, generally poor raw material, and humpback bifaces present on the site. The people who fashioned these pieces were not dim-witted or handicapped, they simply had a lousy toolstone to work with; thus, they were forced to beat it into submission, resulting in a degenerate-looking lithic assemblage. One way of regarding bipolar reduction is as a recycling of cores into akes by total exhaustion of the cores. Root et al. (1999) have noted this phenomenon among retouched tools in the Knife River int quarry area of North Dakota. These they call radial break tools, produced by smashing the at side of modied implements such as ultrathin bifaces. The resulting break edges were then employed as gravers and straight-edged planes. Techniques for ascertaining a bipolar technology are varied. Faced with the availability of only small obsidian clasts in the Mojave Desert, Torres (1998) experimented with the material to see what could be accomplished. He was able to

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


produce an average of three to four akes per clast that were capable of generating a small arrowhead. Indeed, this source was important only for small arrowheads in the later prehistory of the region. Working with trachydacite, or vitreous basalt, in British Columbia, Kuijt et al. (1995) attempted to ascertain the existence of a bipolar technology not through core forms but through debris. Classifying akes into the SullivanRozen system, they found experimentally that bipolar reduction was characterized by a high proportion of nonorientable and medial/distal fragments, as well as small size and a high percentage of akes with cortex cover. The authors could then apply this information to archaeological assemblages. Similar experimental research designs were applied to Italian lithic assemblages by Milliken et al. (1998) and Fontana and Nenzioni (1998). Of course, even using tested debitage characteristics, it is still difcult to know whether or not an analyst is making correct attributions. This problem bothered Jeske and Lurie (1993) to the extent that they conducted a blind test. On unmixed samples, the analyst was 100% accurate for the collection; however, when assessing a mixed bag of individual pieces, the analysts accuracy rate was only 51.2%. These results suggest that it is easy to assess the situation when an assemblage is dominated by either a bipolar or freehand technique, but is considerably more difcult when assessing mixed collections ake by ake. As many of these authors have noted, most attributions of bipolar technologies up to the 1990s were made not on the basis of debitage but on the basis of cores. This occasioned a spirited debate that has continued into this decade. On one side is Goodyear (1993), who argued from the vantage of Debert and similar, primarily Paleoindian, sites in the Eastern Woodlands. Noting a correlation between retouched akes and bipolar cores at Debert, reanalysis established that the retouched akes were made from the bipolar cores. Goodyear also noted that sites containing few or no bipolar cores, wedges, or pi` eces esquill ees were located near a source of raw material. These considerations suggested that in eastern North America all items classied as pieces esquillees or wedges were really bipolar cores. Reacting to a similar argument advanced by Shott (1989), LeBlanc (1992) argued that functional wedges existed in prehistory, and that they look a lot like pi` eces esquill ees (and like some bipolar cores). He interpreted many of these pi` eces esquill ees as wedges used to work antler and noted that most of Shotts ethnographic evidence was of bone and antler wedges used for splitting wood. Shotts subsequent proposal (Shott, 1999) for use of the term splintered piece the English equivalent of pi` ece esquill eeis a recognition that value-laden terms may be counterproductive in a controversy of this nature. Thus the debate continues. Through usewear analyses that I have conducted, I know that functional wedges existed, but so did bipolar cores. I suspect that both sides grasp part of the truth, and that the only resolution for this problem will be on a case-by-case basis, employing the most relevant type of analytical technique for the problem.



Heat Treatment Ever since the 1960s, when modern scholars realized that heating silicates under certain conditions enhanced their knappability, they have been attempting to ascertain whether or not specic collections evince this technology. The development of methods to do so has continued into this decade, as illustrated in Borradaile et al. (1993). Working in iron-rich deposits in Thunder Bay, Ontario, these researchers tried magnetic methods of discriminationthat is, magnetic susceptibility, saturation isothermal remnant magnetization (SIRM), and natural remnant magnetization (NRM). They found that, with heat, changes in susceptibility versus SIRM are dramatic, enabling them to determine the possibility of prehistoric heat alteration. These researchers have since attempted to expand rockmagnetic techniques to characterizing the materials themselves, that is, sourcing (Borradaile et al., 1998). Dunnell et al. (1994), working with less ferruginous cherts in the American Midwest, were able to detect heat alteration, using electron spin resonance. Applying their technique to Dover and Mill Creek cherts, they established that the hoes into which these tough cherts were made were rarely thermally altered when used as hoes, but were heated when recycled into something else. New methods have been applied to materials other than chert, though with mixed results. For instance, Rowney and White (1997) tested the possible heat alteration of silcrete with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and paleomagnetism. They found the SEM unreliable and paleomagnetism sporadic in its effectiveness, concluding that it would be best to employ more than one technique to resolve this problem. New methods have also been applied to those ubiquitous broken stones that everybody suspects are present because of their thermal conductivity, that is, recracked rocks (FCRs). These are particularly troublesome for interpretation if they show no visible evidence of having been burned. It turns out that both heat-sensitive techniques such as thermoluminescence (TL) and light-sensitive techniques such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) are capable of detecting previous heating of rocks. The advantage of OSL is that it is a lot cheaper. Rapp et al. (1999) established good agreement between the two techniques and although the authors are favorably inclined toward TL, OSL has proven to be a viable alternative. The effects of reheating FCRs were studied by Pagoulatos (1992). He found that optical characteristics of thermal alteration such as reddening, cracking, and spalling all increased with reheating, suggesting that these indices could be used to identify incendiary features that were reused frequently. A basic question concerning the heat treatment of chert is why it works. That is, what exactly is happening inside the chert that renders it easier to knap when heated? Domanski and Webb (1992) found that compressive and tensile strength did not show consistent changes, but that change depended on the type of raw

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


material. However, Youngs modulus of elasticity showed a consistent increase with heat (the rock became stiffer and easier to ake), and the fracture toughness decreased. In their opinion, the most likely explanation for the effect on knapping quality is the recrystallization of siliceous material, which results in reduced crystal size. Using wavelength dispersive spectroscopy and SEM, McCutcheon and Kuener (1997) afrmed a decrease in toughness and weight loss with heat, but witnessed no fusing of adjacent grain surfaces, suggesting that recrystallization did not take place. This issue is far from resolved and will continue to be considered for years to come. Handedness Only a few short studies of prehistoric handedness have been undertaken recently. As part of a larger investigation of Acheulian handaxes from Kariandusi, Kenya, Phillipson (1997) tested the t of 54 of them in the hand. Although admittedly subjective, 11% of them were considered made for left-handed use, a pretty close agreement with the proportion of left-handed people in modern populations. A more specic study tested Toths investigation (Toth, 1985) of patterns of cortex on akes that, according to him, were produced differentially by right- and left-handed knappers as they rotated the core in different directions. Pobiners study (Pobiner, 1999) of akes manufactured by seven right-handed students resulted in only 60% of the akes being judged as right-handed, following Toths criteria. Among these tool makers, at least, raw material shape and individual knapping style were more important considerations than the way the core was rotated.

SPECIFIC TOOL TYPES Projectile Points Some artifacts are so instructive that they deserve to be discussed separately. The most popular among these, at least on this side of the Atlantic, is the projectile point. Ethnography and Experimentation Studies of projectile weaponry have beneted from two common means of deriving information: ethnography and experimentation. With respect to the former, inexorable forces of modern life have curtailed most of the hunting activities that traditionally sustained less technologically advanced cultural groups, thus diminishing opportunities for ethnographic study. However, three ethnographic



accounts of hunting practices have recently been published in Knechts Projectile Technology (Knecht, 1997c). One of these, Grifns investigation (Grifn, 1997) of arrow design among three groups of Agta in the Philippines, illustrates tremendous variability of arrow size and shape. In these cultures, type of arrow is largely dependent on the type of hunting and the eventual target anticipated. Likewise, Greaves (1997) studied multifunctionality of hunting equipment among the Pume of southwestern Venezuela, arriving at some surprising conclusions. Analyzing the activities in which one individuals toolkit was employed on each of 20 hunting trips, he found that the quantity of tools taken on a trip did not correlate with distance traveled. Even more surprisingly, the tool used for the greatest number of different activities was the bow (employed for digging, poking, etc.), followed by the arrow. Implements such as knives and machetes, which are considered multifunctional in our western, industrialized societies, were more specialized among the Pume. Finally, Ellis survey (Ellis, 1997) of the ethnographic literature uncovered little support for the differential use of stone points for any specic type of game. Rather, stone-tipped projectiles were used exclusively on large game; smaller game was taken with throwing sticks, slings, snares, traps, etc. In addition, stone arrowheads were employed extensively in warfare, because stone, being brittle, often breaks within a moving, writhing target, causing a more lethal wound. Ellis ndings, like those of the other ethnographers discussed, are crucial for interpretation, because they emphasize the multifaceted aspect of culture and force us to examine our conventions and prejudices. As a source for information and method of examining our conventions, experimentation has also played an important role. An entire subliterature has grown up around spear and spearthrower performance, to which recent contributions include articles by Rozoy (1992), Hutchings and Bruchert (1997), and Baugh (1998). These studies do not get hung up on the projectile tip, as archaeologists frequently do, but involve the entire delivery system. Use of Different Point Types Prehistoric lithic projectile point types have traditionally been conceived as discrete entities. But, like the geographic clinal variation in uted points discussed previously (Morrow and Morrow, 1999), Shott (1996a) demonstrated that several point attributes vary in continuous fashion. For instance, continuous metric reduction through time occurred in haft attributes on Woodland points in the American Bottom, which he attributed to a gradual transition from dart to bow-and-arrow weaponry. The functional signicance of attributes on a projectile point is not always intuitively obvious. Consider notches, for example. Among Plains Village arrowheads, Ahler (1992) found signicantly more impact fractures on notched than

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


on unnotched points, suggesting that notched ones were employed more often in hunting. But if that is the case, then what were the unnotched ones used for? I have fantasized that Indians pinned them on their walls in the conguration of a cowboy. (This is more than just a facetious comment, as I have never seen these Plains arrowheads, notched or unnotched, being consistently used for anything else but as arrowheads.) Indeed, Christensen (1997) investigated the same issue through historic arrow wounds and Great Basin historical collections, and concluded that there was no signicant difference between notched and unnotched arrowheads in function, hafting, type of animals hunted, temporal change, or cultural afliation. Perhaps just as signicantly, Ahlers study recorded impact fractures on points at various stages of manufacture. If one considers the notch to have been the last stage, then these points were used to tip arrows in both notched and unnotched stages. Meanwhile, a debate over the function of Levallois points has been raging. On one side of the issue is Holdaway (1989), who, with data from replication experiments and American Paleoindian assemblages, argued that these objects were not employed as projectiles. More specically, breakage patterns of Mousterian points did not conform to those of his dataset (notably, he did not nd a dominance of proximal ends on habitation sites); therefore, these objects should more accurately be classied as convergent scrapers than as points. Plisson and Beyries (1998) have supported this position. Arguing from a usewear perspective, their analysis of Levallois points from two sites in the Levant revealed multiple traces of usewear on the points, but none attributable to projectile use. The other camp, led by John Shea, maintains that Levallois points were indeed used to tip projectiles. His position has been buttressed by the discovery of what was interpreted as the middle portion of a Levallois point embedded in a neck vertebra of a wild ass at a Mousterian site in Syria (Boeda et al., 1999). Shea, whose earlier usewear work documented projectile use for these kinds of points (summarized in Shea, 1993), has recently been engaged in applying this nding to Middle Paleolithic hunting strategies. His research suggests that Levallois points were part of a toolkit that emphasized reliability because it was employed in hunting large, dangerous mammals in marginal zones such as the steppic interior of the Levant. The Levallois point : core ratio is much higher for Neanderthal sites than for those of modern Homo sapiens. Shea reasoned that Neanderthals employed Levallois points primarily for intercept hunting of large mammals in the interior of the Levant, whereas modern Homo sapiens had less need for them in the richer, more wooded, northern and coastal areas (Shea, 1995, 1998). Raw Material Comparisons For a long time it appeared that scholars had forgotten that both prehistoric and ethnographically studied modern people frequently tipped their projectiles not



with stone but with wood, bone, or antler. Now some scholars are beginning to emphasize these differences. Comparing stone- with antler-tipped points shot experimentally into a dead goat and a cow, Knecht (1997b) computed that antler points are 30% more exible than stone, are tougher, and have the ability to penetrate deeply into long bones without sustaining damage. Pokines (1998) reported similar results, specically that antler points are more durable than stone and have longer use-lives. On the other hand, stone tips damage more tissue than antler tips do and constitute more lethal weaponspretty sound reasons for the durability of their appeal. Spear versus Bow-and-Arrow Comparisons In many parts of the world, weaponry progressed from spear to dart to arrow, and it is certainly tempting to make connections between temporally contiguous weapons systems. Farmer (1994) saw a direct progression, even stating that the arrow was a miniaturization of the dart; Hughes (1998) interpreted the process in evolutionary terms. The chronology of weapons development has frequently occasioned lively debate. Except for synopses of the general situation (e.g., Knecht, 1997a; Peterkin, 1993), I am not aware of much recent debate in the Old World, though an interesting nd in Europe may have some bearing on the subject. A broken (probably microlithic) point was discovered in the right ilium of an adult female hominid from Grotta di San Teodoro 4, Italy (Bachechi et al., 1997). The point achieved deep penetration and was either a dart projected by a spearthrower, or an arrow more likely the latter, judging from its size and form. Dating is a bit tenuous, but it underlay the nal Gravettian layer at the site, making it one of the earliest such points known. Substantial effort has been expended in North America in discriminating spear/dart from arrow points. Several years ago, Thomas (1978) conducted a study of hafted arrows and darts found in museums in the United States, from which he derived a function for the classication of individual projectile points discovered without their hafts. Subsequently, Shott (1993, 1997) added to Thomas hafted dart sample and tested it on Late Woodland nonhafted samples; Bradbury (1997) rened the classication function. Like Thomas, Shott (1997) found shoulder width to be the most discriminating variable, though Fawcett (1998) had good luck with neck width for points from southern Idaho. Several authors have concluded that the atlatl/dart and bow-and-arrow systems coexisted for a long time (Bradbury, 1997; Fawcett, 1998; Shott, 1993), though the inception of the bow and arrow in the New World is hotly contested. As I have explained elsewhere (Odell, 1996, p. 226), a late-comer camp interprets the situation from formal projectile points, which entered the prehistoric record sometime between A.D. 100 and A.D. 700, depending on the region. Recent advocates of this position are Blitz (1988), Seeman (1992), and Shott (1993). The other,

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


early bird, camp entertains the possibility that the earliest arrowheads had not been standardized into formal shapes, but existed as unmodied akes and simple unifacially retouched tools. Early bird partisans (Bradbury, 1997; Nassaney and Pyle, 1999; Odell, 1988; Patterson, 1992) push the date for the earliest bow and arrows on the North American continent back to the Late Archaic, that is, 2000 B.C. At the moment, the late-comer camp still has the upper hand because no piece of stone attached to an undisputed arrow shaft from such an early date has ever been uncovered. If and when that happens, the debate will shift to developmental and diffusionist issues. Utilization Dockall (1997) has summarized the types of damage that can be expected from projectile usage. Several researchers have now reported observing impact damage on projectile points from archaeological sites. For instance, Ballenger (1999) compared breakage patterns on Late Paleoindian Plainview and FrederickAllen type points from Southern Plains sites. In the Old World, some attention has been paid to Upper Paleolithic shouldered points. For instance, Geneste and Plisson (1993) conducted a usewear analysis of Solutrean shouldered points from Combe Sauniere and related French assemblages; Broglio et al. (1993) compared Epigravettian shouldered points with impact damage from two settlements in Italy. And in Belgium, Caspar and DeBie (1996) found that 28% of the laterally modied Federmesser points from the late Upper Paleolithic site of Rekem had impact damage, though larger pieces appeared to have been butchering tools, not projectiles. The authors reported that spatial analysis conducted with functional types was substantially more informative than similar analyses conducted with standard formal types, an experience becoming more common among functional analysts. Other analysts have documented the use of formal points in ways other than as projectiles. For example, Kimball (1994) found a multiplicity of wear types on Late Archaic points from a Pennsylvania site. It appeared that these points were used rst as projectile tips, then as butchering tools. Shen (1995) observed an even greater disjuncture from a large sample of points taken from three sites of the Princess Point Complex of Ontario. He concluded that most points with wear did not have impact damage, and many of those that possessed wear were woodworking tools. Across the Atlantic, Finlayson and Mithen (1997) reported that, among Mesolithic microliths from Gleann Mor in the Southern Hebrides, a projectile function may not even have been very important. Although the authors are certainly correct in attacking the prevailing typological approach to projectile point variation, their results neither jibe with other functional studies of microliths of which I am aware (e.g., Odell, 1978) or other considered opinions on the matter by knowledgeable prehistorians (e.g., Clark, 1936), nor do they cite any of these people in their article.



Behavioral Studies Detailed knowledge of certain regions or periods has increased the need to explain commonly recurring patterns of projectile use in the archaeological record, resulting in behaviorally oriented studies. In one of these, Seeman et al. (1994) attempted to dene Early Paleoindian site types by using variables related to projectile points, for example, percentages of nished and unnished points, heat treatment, raw material, metrics. Some of their assumptions are speculative, such as postulating that an abundance of heat-treated, nished uted points indicates a cold-season occupation, because during this season artifacts are in closer proximity to res than they are during other seasons. The argument is provocative, if not very compelling. Assemblage variability has been an issue for all prehistoric periods, but especially so for makers of nicely made, diagnostic artifacts like Folsom points. Edge grinding on these tools is a diagnostic characteristic, but this attribute is not totally explainable with respect to the most popular explanation for the phenomenon, that is, providing a duller edge so as not to sever its binding. If this were the case, then why would the basal notch be just as ground and polished as the sides? Experimentation by Titmus and Woods (1991) suggests a functional reason that a toolmaker might have ground and smoothed the edges under the haft, that is, to remove small irregularities that might otherwise cause basal fracture. To explain variations in mode and condition of Folsom points from different sites, Hofman (1992b) created an interesting use/discard model. In the model, assemblages from human groups that have recently visited a quarry will contain a preponderance of classic, bifacially uted Folsom points, whereas assemblages from Indians who have been through a number of kill and processing events since visiting a quarry will contain a dominance of unuted, heavily reworked points. In this model, it is the number of retooling events rather than distance from source of raw material that directly inuences the appearance of a Folsom assemblage. A similar model was employed at the Cooper bison kill in Oklahoma by Bement (1999), who reported three kills in different years but in the same season. Folsom tools associated with the kills were at very different stages of retooling, suggesting that the three hunting groups had traveled different routes to arrive at this place. The creation of models like this constitutes an important step in understanding the processes of interaction of the cultural groups that manufactured and used the points we nd so fascinating. Prismatic Blades Old World Studies The development of blade technologies has long been a topic of interest, and it now appears that this technology began in the Middle Paleolithic (MP), earlier

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than our traditional textbooks would lead us to believe (e.g., Ameloot-van der Heijden, 1993; Vishnyatsky, 1994). Although it is difcult to derive chronological regularities from the occurrence of various types of laminar industries (Revillion, 1995), there exists some support for a development from an MP tortoise Levallois, to an MP pointed Levallois, to an Upper Paleolithic (UP) bidirectional pointed ` cr Levallois blade technique. There is evidence that the lame a ete technique, for taking the rst blade off a rounded nodule, has been known since the MP and may be associated with the manufacture of convergent ake points (Demikendo and Usik, 1993). A good recent synopsis of early Old World blade technologies and their association with hominid types can be found in Bar-Yosef and Kuhn (1999). Research on later blade technologies from all over the world has also continued apace. Examples include Ploux et al. (1991), who have provided a good synopsis of blade techniques practiced at the late Upper Paleolithic encampment of Pincevent, France. Bleed (1996) has compared two microblade knapping techniques from late Paleolithic Japan, suggesting that disparities in failure rate were caused by differences in the availability of raw material. And Skakun (1993b) has attempted to clarify why a new industry of long, thin blades appeared suddenly in the Chalcolithic period of Bulgaria. These blades possessed very rounded edges, which the author tried to replicate experimentally. Through judicious use of experimentation and folk ethnography, she established that one of these blades would be placed in the middle of a curved wooden handle and used for scraping hides, similar to metal blades in use today by Bulgarian furriers. In the Near East, Quintero and Wilke (1995) have investigated the development of Prepottery Neolithic B naviform blade cores from earlier triangular and occasionally opposed-platform cores. During this period, a society based increasingly on intensive agricultural systems created a demand for regularly shaped blades for use in sickles and weapons. And working with blade industries located further east, experimentation with a holding device for pressure-aking blades, consisting of slotted blocks of bone, allowed Wilke (1996) to replicate northwest Iranian-type bullet-shaped cores. New World Studies Blade industries from Central America have been recognized for a long time, though the antiquity of this industry has only recently been established. Early preceramic macroblade industries, accompanied by massive cores, akes, and constricted unifaces, have now been discovered in off-mound strata from Colha, Belize, an industry that has been dated to 13001000 B.C. at nearby Pulltrouser Swamp. This date accords well with similar early blade/macroblade complexes from the Caribbean, supporting the position that these islands were settled through the Greater Antilles from Yucat an (Wilson et al., 1998). Further east in the Lesser Antilles, an Archaic blade industry has been recognized on the island of Antigua. In



an assemblage lacking formal tools, the best way to understand prehistoric cultures through stone tools is not through typologies but through technology (Davis, 1993). Recent technological research in Mesoamerica has emphasized the development of blade from ake industries, starting in the early Middle Formative and progressing through the Classic period, notably in Belize (Awe and Healy, 1994) and the Gulf Coast of Mexico (Stark et al., 1992). In some regions, these industries were affected by an eventual shortage of obsidian, inducing various forms of economizing behavior. Such a situation was detected in the blade industry from four subphases of a Middle preclassic Guatemala settlement. Through time, blades became smaller and more fragmentary, wear became more pronounced, and use of a bipolar technique for rejuvenating lateral edges increased (Nance and Kirk, 1991). Improving the study of blade technologies through replicative experimentation has been a focus for Clark and Bryant (1997), who proposed a technological typology of blades and blade refuse for the area around Chiapas, Mexico. The authors applied this system to a narrow band of secondarily deposited blade refuse in a Mayan chultun (storage pit) at the site of Ojo de Agua. Clark (1997) also employed technological variables, knapping errors, and other parameters to establish the level of craftsmanship and quantity of blade production at the site. He established that better knappers existed at Kaminaljuy u, but part-time craft specialization in obsidian blade production probably occurred at this village. In the New World, blades were manufactured by Late Pleistocene Clovis peoples, and future research may establish even greater antiquity for them. Clovis blade technologies have never been studied very intensely, but this failing has now been rectied by Collins (1999), who has produced a comprehensive description of Clovis blade technology. He used this background to describe a unique cache of 14 blades recently recovered from a plowed eld in northeastern Texas. Taking a look at New World blade technologies in general, Parry (1994) discussed nine blade industries that existed at various intervals in the North and Central American prehistoric sequence. He recognized neither direct historical connections among these industries, nor any one specic factor that could explain the appearance of them all. Although he saw a trend toward craft specialization, this point is disputed for many of the industries discussed. For example, 45% of the Mississippian microdrills used in bead manufacture at Cahokia were made on blade blanks. Although this may appear to have been a specialized craft, Holley (1995) deemphasized this aspect because areas of the site excavated so far are more accurately considered as workshops than as microdrill factories. A large portion of North American blade research has concentrated on Middle Woodland cultures of the American Midwest. In Ohio, Yerkes (1994) performed a usewear analysis of prismatic blades from a small Hopewell encampment. Blades were employed for a variety of tasks, and he found no evidence for craft specialization. Another usewear analysis of a similar Hopewell camp, also in Ohio (Lemons and Church, 1998), came to the same conclusion. These ndings are consistent with

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


usewear studies conducted further west, where Odell (1994) found a multiplicity of activities represented in the blades at the Smiling Dan Hopewell habitation in Illinois. He compared this base camp with two nearby components at the Napoleon Hollow site that were directly associated with mortuary activities. In these specialized contexts, blade usage was very specically oriented toward scraping hides and cutting soft materials. In the Middle Woodland of Illinois, then, blades were employed in specic ceremonial activities associated with burial; when found outside this context, they were used for a large variety of activities just as akes were.

Agricultural Tools Andersons Pr ehistoire de lagriculture (Anderson, 1992b) provides insight into recent experimentation in several aspects of farming, including biological. For our purposes, one of the more interesting studies concerned the most efcient manner of dehusking glume wheats, as might have been practiced in the Early Neolithic of the Rhineland. Meurers-Balke and Luning (1992) found that such wheats can be dehusked on Linearbandkeramik saddle querns, but concluded that processing in a wooden mortar was superior to use of the quern in almost every respect. Thus, even though an artifact such as the quern may have been present in a particular cultures material repertoire, it was not necessarily the most efcient method, or even the most popular, because the vagaries of preservation play such an important role in our perceptions. Another recent study investigated different methods of reaping cereals, this time through ethnographic observations of Bedul Bedouin living near Petra, Jordan. Simms and Russell (1997) timed people picking grain by hand. Comparing these times with gures for harvesting grain with stone and metal sickles, the authors established that hand picking was just as efcient as reapingeven more efcient on sandy soils with grains in low-density stands, though sickles had an advantage in dense soils with dense stands of wheat. From these considerations, it follows that the presence of sickles on an archaeological site indicates agricultural intensication, not initial cultivation. Most other recent studies of prehistoric agriculture have employed tools primarily to investigate usewear on those parts that contact a worked material. Of these, most involved reaping grain with sickles, as might have been practiced in the Near Eastern or European Neolithic (e.g., Korobkova, 1993). Experimental cereal growing and cutting programs have been initiated in Great Britain, France, Russia, and other European countries. These experiments have allowed researchers to identify differences in usewear between tools used close to the ground, which produce many striations, and those that sliced the stalk at some distance up from the roots (Anderson, 1992a). Unger-Hamilton (1992) found that domestic cereals are most efciently cut close to the ground; thus, nding a large proportion of



sickle blades impacted by soil particles would imply the reaping of domesticated grain. The most efcient sickle blades for grain are not retouched, whereas serrated edges are best for harvesting the tough stems of reeds and sedges, which would have been easier to gather using stone tools than by uprooting the plants (Anderson, 1992a). And wear on the end of sickle blades, which contacts the soil, is different from that in the middle, which contacts the plant stems (Clemente and Gibaja, 1998). Another agricultural tool, the threshing sledge, has been the subject of several recent studies. Threshing sledges (also called doukani or tribuli) have been in use until the mid-20th century in countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The int teeth inserted in the bottom of these wooden boards, which are likely to show up in archaeological assemblages, have been objects of usewear research in Cyprus (Kardulias and Yerkes, 1996), Bulgaria (Skakun, 1992), and Turkey (Ataman, 1992). These authors agree that edges are typically characterized by severe rounding and well-developed plant polish, edge damage, and striations parallel to the edge. Two other usewear studies are relevant to research on agricultural equipment. One concerns crescent-shaped Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age int tools that have traditionally been classied as sickles because of the gloss on them, but the extreme rounding of their edges have made them too blunt to effectively cut plant stems. Such implements have been discovered in marshy areas of the Netherlands. Having conducted a series of replicative experiments on a variety of substances, van Gijn (1992) concluded that these were sod-cutting tools employed for house construction in a landscape with few trees. The other study involved the processing of roots and tubers, many of which do not require stone tools for processing. Sievert (1992) conducted several experiments with tubers such as manioc, jicama, potatoes, and carrots. She concluded that most roots needed to be processed for 2 h or more to produce interpretable usewear.

Miscellaneous Chipped Stone Tool Types Archaeologists these days are less likely than they used to be to accept typological classications at face value. Some never did, of course, but a healthy skepticism currently prevails. This process has resulted in a reevaluation of several regional types, often in functional terms, providing considerable insight into the people who made these tools. A case in point is a type of graver possessing two or three projections, found on sites in Ontario (Tomenchuk and Storck, 1997). Microscopic observations of the graving spurs demonstrated different kinds of wear on the projections, suggesting that the user rotated the tool on one spur and dragged the other. In other words, these implements were employed for scribing circles in wood, bone, or antler and were given the names compass gravers and

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


coring gravers. More conventional drilling was conducted by inhabitants of a Mississippi site belonging to the Poverty Point culture to make slate beads, but it was done using quartz crystals as drill tips (Johnson, 1993). Another pointed tool, the burin, has also come under scrutiny. Barton et al. (1996) recorded technological variables and macroscopically observed the edges of burins from three Middle Eastern sites, concluding that burins were multifunctional tools. If this was the case, then archaeologists should not regard them as graving tools. My reactions to this thesis are twofold: (1) macroscopic analysis is pretty weak support for any functional inference, and some of the authors other arguments are rather contrived; and (2) the burin is a typotechnological type and, in any case, should never be regarded on face value as a graving tool unless specically established through appropriate analytical techniques. The burin is dened by the characteristic of a blow delivered at right angles to the plane of the piece or to a specic edge; any other denition misses the point of what technological classication is all about. So Barton and his colleagues are surely correct in bewailing the practice of regarding this tool type in functional terms without establishing the case with appropriate analyses, but they do so with a decidedly vapid methodology. Another study involving burins compared them to laterally retouched blades from the Federmesser site of Rekem, Belgium (De Bie and Caspar, 1997). For this cultural group, burins are seen as exible, expediently employed tools, whereas the form of laterally retouched blades was conditioned by their hafting and eventual use predominantly as projectile points. Recent work on scrapers has also illuminated aspects of the cultural groups in which these tools were used. For instance, the historic Chickasaw employed thumbnail scrapers for processing hides in the bison trade with the English. Johnson (1997) has demonstrated that this tool formed the basis of a very consistent and regularized toolkit; during this period the spread of this artifact is related to the migration of bison into the upper Midwest. Another diminutive scraper type, the microscraper, has been found in Epipaleolithic and Mesolithic levels of at least one Andorran site. Universally stained with red ochre, usewear analysis established that the scraper and ochre were employed not in the tanning process but later, for preparing dry or tanned skin (Philibert, 1993). And analysis of a Belgian Neolithic settlement established that scrapers at this locale were not used on hides at all, but as adzes on wood (Caspar and Burnez-Lanotte, 1996). Finally, several kinds of edge tools from very different contexts have been distinguished by the differential wear on them. In Central America, the Maya grass axe or corn sickle was an elongated biface depicted in the Dresden Codex. It usually has sickle sheen on one edge only, the opposite edge having been under a hafting device (Clark, 1995). Further north, the Early Archaic Dalton adze has long been considered a woodworking tool, but this had never been substantiated until Gaertners study (Gaertner, 1994). In Europe, the Belgian frits has proven



difcult to understand. Thick, orange peel-like blades, they possess a double polish: one side, bright; the other, matte and rough. They were probably employed in scraping hides, though the exact way the hides were scraped remains uncertain (Sliva and Keeley, 1994). Finally, Runnels (1994) investigated historic tinderints. Exhibiting splintering, crushing, and macroaking on multiple edges, it is no wonder that most of them have been classied as pi` eces esquill ees. Grinding and Pounding Tools Manufacture Several studies have contributed to understanding the production of grinding tools. In a preliminary experiment, Osborne (1998) replicated the manufacture of a mortar, pecking a sizeable concavity in a granitic slab in 8 h. In another experiment, Wilke and Quintero (1996) wished to understand Near Eastern millstones through models derived from the American Southwest, to which end they replicated pestles in andesite rst by aking and then by pecking. From data transcribed at each stage in the process, they formulated a technological sequence that they can apply to the Near Eastern situation. Pritchard-Parker and Torres (1998) approached the issue from a different perspective. Instead of making and examining a nished ground stone product, they analyzed the hammers and hammer debris from the manufacture of ground stone tools to ascertain whether or not the debris from roughening a milling stone could be distinguished from the debris generated by other activities such as core reduction. Their investigation resulted in a series of blind tests that were successful in most cases, from which they concluded that debris can be used to distinguish these two activities. A manual for technological analyses of ground stone has been produced by Adams (1997). Function A suite of usewear experiments on grinding tools was performed by Adams (1989) with the help of Earthwatch volunteers. Discrimination of corn, wood, bone, and shell grinding was not absolute, but these assays lent hope that some differentiation would eventually be possible. Experimentation was continued by Wright (1993), who replicated the trough metate and two-hand mano of a typical Pueblo I hamlet. Recording tool stone loss, length of time spent, and vegetative dispersal, she calculated rates of wear, which can be translated into estimates of tool use-life. Other experiments have been performed to register grinding efciency. Testing differences between basin, trough, and at metates, Adams (1993) concluded

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


that grinding efciency is related to grinding surface area and user fatigue. Historically, she noted that a need for greater grinding intensity in Puebloan societies stimulated development toward at metates, which contain greater surface area and cause less user fatigue than other designs do. However, additional experiments suggested that seeds or grains were probably ground into our while dry because the results spoiled rapidly when ground wet. For dry grinding, the trough metate, while inducing more user fatigue, was actually the most efcient grinding tool (Adams, 1999). A large portion of this research has examined relationships between grinding equipment and specic foodstuffs. In one such study, Morris (1990) noted that, in the American Southwest, the one-hand mano was replaced by the two-hand mano. This was interpreted as a result of a dietary dependence on maize and its accompanying sedentary lifestyle, for which larger grinding tools enabled a quicker and more efcient processing of maize. Hard et al. (1996) tested this relationship further, calculating degrees of maize dependence from macrobotanical and coprolite remains and stable carbon isotopes. Correlating these with average mano grinding surface area suggested substantial maize dependence by 500 B.C. in southern Arizona, though the timing of the transition to maize agriculture varied from region to region. In the Hohokam region, the operative functional model for grinding tools is that basin metates and small manos were utilized primarily for seed grinding, whereas trough or slab metates and long manos were used for corn. Testing this model, Stone (1994) found that it does not adequately account for the availability of the raw material used to manufacture the implements. For example, corngrinding metates tended to be trough shaped and made of a vesicular material, but because of transport costs, metates of nonlocal material were invariably smaller and had a much higher intensity of use. Nonlocal manos were more formally shaped and smaller. These considerations suggest that the efciency model for grinding equipment in the American Southwest should be reexamined to include raw material availability. In addition, Nelson and Lippmeier (1993) have demonstrated a contrast between permanent-use sites with architecture and fortuitously (intermittently) occupied sites. At architectural sites, grinding tools are made from more durable materials, metates are often shaped, and manos are longer and more standardized. Surprisingly, the expected pattern that the permanent sites would contain thinner and more expended grinding tools was not supported, suggesting that modication and use intensity are not sensitive indicators of site permanence. In other areas of the world, research into grinding implements has been pursued along similar lines. For example, in Natuan sites of the Near East, Wright (1994) has demonstrated an association between the presence of grinding tools and camps where seeds were heavily consumed. Grinding technology is seen as a response to pressures of growing population and reduced territory, in which wild cereals, a sort of low-order junk food during times of abundance, became decidedly



more attractive. In Australia, where grinding technology goes back 30,000 years, it has also been associated with environmental stress (aridity), in which lowerranked resources such as seeds supplanted declining higher-ranked resources such as megafauna (Fullagar and Field, 1997). Although most archaeological studies of this type of implement have concerned slab and basin abrasion, grinding technologies are by no means limited to this functional group. Another type of American Southwestern implement whose dominant function has elicited interest is the cylindrical basalt tool. Kamps recent experiments (Kamp, 1995) in working wood, removing corn kernels, and so forth, with such objects have concluded that the most probable task in which they were engaged was in smoothing the surfaces of clay pots. Likewise, Attenbrow et al. (1998) have investigated the sandstone les used to fabricate aboriginal Australian shell shhooks. And Mackie (1995) has analyzed ground stone celts from the Northwest Coast of North America. He found that, being extremely laborious to manufacture but highly durable, they were utilized and sharpened continuously until exhausted, a process that constantly changed their form and lent formal variability to the entire tool class.

PERSPECTIVES The length of this review and depth of its bibliography are good indicators of the amount of progress into the prehistoric procurement and production of archaeological stone tools that has been accomplished during the past decade. I summarize the principal directions this research has taken. Fracture Mechanics and Technology Experimental research into the fracture mechanics of brittle solids has afrmed the importance of the concept of ake mass, and of platform thickness and exterior platform angle, as major contributors to ake variability. The good news is that the most important variables can be measured directly on akes. The bad news is that dropping steel balls on glass with an undifferentiated dorsal surface, though experimentally justiable, does not tell us all we need to know about akes in the real world. More work needs to be done to bring the pure experimental data in line with real-world situations. Technological analysis of whole assemblages has been a backbone of lithic analysis for years. Recently, considerable energy has been expended on the lithic technology of the Middle Paleolithic, in the Old World, and of Folsom peoples, in the New World. Research into other periods of prehistory has been more sporadic but is needed to achieve a thorough understanding of technological development in different regions.

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


Among techniques commonly employed, replicative intknapping has remained a useful way to gain insight into the nature of lithic assemblages. Piece retting has attained almost as much popularity in North America as it has in Europe, providing information on such issues as the integrity of occupation surfaces, postdepositional artifact movement, and retooling. Minimum analytical nodule analysis has been proposed as an alternative to conjoining analysis for assemblages in which the retting of individual pieces is difcult. Meanwhile, debitage studies are still working their way through the Sullivan Rozen typology. Most tests of this system have afrmed its utility for questions involving breakage, but its lack of discriminating power for most other questions. Given its ease of application, many analysts will continue to use it, but it is recommended that they use at least one other analytical system along with it. Other debitage studies have shown that cortex is not a very good indicator of reduction stage. Also, lipping of the ventral surface just under the striking platform is produced exclusively through soft-hammer percussion, but many soft-hammer akes do not show this characteristic. A good discriminating variable for akes with extant striking platforms is platform facet count and for akes without platforms is dorsal facet count. It is possible that, in the future, discrimination of shape, retouch, and other morphotechnological variables may be accomplished with the aid of image digitizers. More people than ever have been recognizing bipolar reduction in their assemblages and interpreting those assemblages in light of its ramications. Blind tests have revealed that distinguishing bipolar reduction is easy for pure assemblages, but difcult for individual pieces from mixed assemblages. The controversy over whether the pieces designated as wedges and pi` eces esquill ees in archaeological collections are really bipolar cores is currently unresolvable, except on a case-by-case basis. The internal change that occurs during the heating of silicates constitutes a subject of continuing controversy. The application of heat decreases a rocks toughness and increases Youngs modulus of elasticity, but the question of whether or not recrystallization occurs is currently being debated. Heat alteration of iron-rich silicates has been investigated through magnetic techniques. Despite some promise, analysts should use this technique in conjunction with others. For nonsilicate heat-conducting stones (re-cracked rocks), the question of whether or not they have ever been heated is often an important issue. For this question, the optically stimulated luminescence technique has been shown to be a viable, and cheaper, alternative to thermoluminescence. Individual Tool Types Specic tool forms have provided fertile ground for spurring productive research, and in no case is this more true, particularly in the Americas, than with



projectile points. Even well into the 1990s, this category of artifact continues to benet from the application of ethnographic and experimental analyses. Usewear studies on points throughout the world have revealed tremendous variability; some collections contain a preponderance of impact damage signifying utilization in a projectile mode, whereas other collections show wear from nonprojectile activities, but almost no impact damage. In other words, these objects were perceived differently by the people who made and used them. The effectiveness of stone projectile tips has been compared with points of bone and antler, often through experimental methods. Results show that organic tips penetrate better and are more durable, whereas stone tips often break inside the body of the prey, destroy more tissue, and are usually more effective killing devices. Several debates concerning projectile points are currently raging. In the Middle Paleolithic of Europe and the Near East, a signicant question is whether or not Levallois points were really used to tip projectiles? And in North America, whether the bow and arrow entered the cultural repertoire late (e.g., Middle Woodland) or early (e.g., Late Archaic)? For answers, tune in next decade. Prismatic blades have interested archaeologists for a long time because their presence has traditionally suggested progress and rationality in a less than totally comprehensible world. Now that more and more lithic analyses in Europe and the Near East have extended blade technologies well into the Middle Paleolithic, the connotation of incipient modernization applied to blade technologies must be rethought. In the New World, early blade industries have recently been discovered in Central America and the Caribbean. What little evidence there is suggests that blades in later prehistory were not produced by a specialized class of people. However, in the Middle Woodland period of the North American midcontinent, blades appear to have possessed highly specialized uses when associated with mortuary contexts; when found in everyday habitation context, they were employed just like akes in a variety of tasks. A considerable amount of particularistic research into other specic tool types has also been conducted during the past decade. Agricultural implements such as sickle blades and threshing sledge inserts have beneted from large experimental programs. Also notable have been studies into the functions and contexts of thumb scrapers, microscrapers, compass gravers, the Dalton adze, and the Maya grass axe. After a long period of quiescence, archaeologists have nally decided that grinding and pounding tools are worthy of investigation, as numerous experimental programs have inspected issues of tool use-life, waste products, grinding efciency, and maize dependency. The state of functional research into rough stone tools is at the stage that research into chipped stone tools was at about 20 years ago. Raw Materials Research has continued into Neolithic and Copper Age int mining in Europe. Including large projects such as Krzemionki in Poland and El Malagon and La

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology


Venta in Spain, this research involves quarries, mines, and workshops. Work has also progressed on mines for other substances such as sandstone and specular hematite. Recent sourcing of lithic raw material has involved rhyolite, basalt, orthoquartzite, steatite, and catlinite, but most effort has been put into obsidian and chert. Obsidian sourcing in the New World has concentrated on materials from Mesoamerica, Ecuador, Chile, northwest and southwest North America, and materials traveling in the Hopewell Interaction Sphere. Most obsidian sourcing studies have employed geochemical analyses, particularly instrumental NAA. Tests comparing visual with geochemical assays on the same individual pieces have demonstrated that visual methods are only about 50% accurate, lending support for spending the extra time and money required to hire machines and technicians to do the job if the results are crucial for interpreting past remains. Geochemical analyses of chert have progressed, but are not yet as frequent as with obsidian. A new sourcing technique involving magnetic susceptibility has proven helpful, but is not yet robust enough to be the sole measure of this parameter. For visual analyses of Illinois materials, a newly developed chert identication tree has been evaluated and proven to be quite accurate. With respect to the distribution of raw materials on archaeological sites, several studies have demonstrated that specic materials were preferred for specic tool forms. The relationship of tool materials found on archaeological sites to their sources has caused gravity models to be tested under various conditions. Archaeological cases follow the model closely in some situations but not in others, perhaps because of the inuence of mobility organization on these latter populations, or the stockpiling of raw materials. Producerconsumer models of material distribution, invoked at the Mayan village of Colha, have elucidated some of the distributive relationships between this major chert workshop and other centers in the region. Other studies have concentrated on changes in raw material usage over time, considerations inuenced by the accessibility of raw material or by sociopolitical factors. A Parting Note Despite the prodigious amount of work that has been conducted during the past decadeor perhaps because of itthe eld of lithic analysis offers several areas in which meaningful contributions would be welcome. Advancement will come through making judicious decisions, pursuing certain promising areas while letting go of some trajectories that have proven less advantageous or that may be difcult to pursue in the future. Among the latter I would include the SullivanRozen typological system, which has now been refuted so many times that I am amazed that anybody is still paying attention. The system may be helpful for a researcher who desires information on breakage patterns, but for other questions it is pretty worthless. The



role of knapping is also an area that I think will diminishnot because it should, but because knappers are depleting good material at a rapid rate, and continued exploitation will not be possible at this level. And other analytical trajectories will soon be played out. For instance, how many times can one discuss the functional import of a pi` ece esquill ee, or a Levallois point, when it has become painfully obvious that objects in either category must be considered on a case-by-case basis? Other elds will continue to blossom as researchers reap their benets. Among these I count ake experimentation and the effects of heat alteration. We cannot hope to advance unless we achieve a greater understanding of fracture mechanics, as this element governs how stones are made and used; the same is true for heat alteration because this variable helps to determine the nature of the substance being worked. Research on debitage and ground stone will also increase, but for different reasons. Debitage is a powerful dataset because it is ubiquitous on archaeological sites and its discard location is probably not often far removed from its location of manufacture or use or both. Likewise, ground or rough stone can provide crucial information on a number of questions, but so far it has been dramatically underutilized.

Adams, J. L. (1989). Experimental replication of the use of ground stone tools. Kiva 54: 261271. Adams, J. L. (1993). Toward understanding the technological development of manos and metates. Kiva 58: 331355. Adams, J. L. (1997). Manual for a Technological Approach to Ground Stone Analysis, Center for Desert Archaeology, Tucson. Adams, J. L. (1999). Refocusing the role of food-grinding tools as correlates for subsistence strategies in the U.S. Southwest. American Antiquity 64: 475498. Ahler, S. A. (1992). Use-phase classication and manufacturing technology in Plains Village arrowpoints. In Hofman, J., and Enloe, J. (eds.), Piecing Together the Past: Applications of Retting Studies in Archaeology, BAR International Series 578, Oxford, pp. 3662. Aldenderfer, M. (1991). The structure of Late Classic lithic assemblages in the Central Pet en Lakes region, Guatemala. In Hester, T., and Shafer, H. (eds.), Maya Stone Tools, Prehistory Press, Madison, WI, pp. 119141. Ameloot-van der Heijden, N. (1993). Lindustrie laminaire du niveau CA du gisement pal eolithique moyen de Reincourt-les-Bapaume (Pas-de-Calais). Bulletin de la Soci et e Pr ehistorique Franc aise 90: 324327. Amick, D. S. (1999). Raw material variation in Folsom stone tool assemblages and the division of labor in hunter-gatherer societies. In Amick, D. (ed.), Folsom Lithic Technology, International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 169187. Amick, D. S., and Mauldin, R. P. (1997). Effects of raw material on ake breakage patterns. Lithic Technology 22: 1832. Anderson, P. C. (1992a). Experimental cultivation, harvest and threshing of wild cereals and their relevance for interpreting the use of Epipaleolithic and Neolithic artefacts. In Anderson, P. C. (ed.), Pr ehistoire de lagriculture, Monographie du CRA, No. 6, Editions du CNRS, Paris, pp. 179209. Anderson, P. C. (ed.). (1992b). Pr ehistoire de lagriculture: nouvelles approches exp erimentales et ethnographiques, Monograpohie du CRA, No. 6, Editions du CNRS, Paris. Andrefsky, W., Jr. (1994). The geological occurrence of lithic material and stone tool production strategies. Geoarchaeology 9: 375391.

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