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, flake experimentation, technology, and specific tool types. An article in a subsequent issue of this journal will discuss issues of function, behavior, and classification 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, flake experimentation, technology, and specific tool types. A subsequent article will discuss classification, 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 field 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 satisfied 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 rocks—flints, cherts, chalcedonies—that interest us. Therefore, in the archaeological literature it is difficult 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 fluvial 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 flint 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 flint mine at Jablines, France, a landscape literally pockmarked with mine shafts (Bostyn and Lanchon, 1997). This is the first flint 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 flint sources in Scotland, Saville (1997) documented hollows of flint 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 Bustillo’s volume (Ramos-Millan and Bustillo, 1997), five 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 Webb’s 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 confirm 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 silicified 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).

and the nature of secondary depositional processes in the region of study.e. As an alternative to the instrumental geochemical techniques currently in vogue. homogeneous resources. and proton-induced X-ray emission/proton-induced gamma ray emission (PIXE–PIGME) analysis. this method is also discussed under “piece refitting. 1995). but a few refinements have been added. interested in the effects that heating might have on this fluorescence effect. including definitions. highlighting the unreliability of this method for distinguishing the substantial within-source variability of gray Mesoamerican obsidian. Although some advances in visual discrimination have occurred. He continued his experimentation in light effects on contrasting cherts taken from primary versus secondary context (Shockey. a point emphasized by Moholy-Nagy and Nelson (1990). it helps to know where the stones came from.272 Odell Sourcing Analyses General Considerations Stones discovered on archaeological sites contain a wealth of information. effects on fluorescence) in these cherts at temperatures up to 800◦ C. This is still the method preferred by most archaeologists. 1991) provided one property that might successfully discriminate one chert type from another. but it may be helpful . He found no quenching (i. the sourcing of artifactual stones was conducted exclusively by visual methods. The most comprehensive view of the field. heuristic way of measuring variability within an assemblage. they sourced the stones first visually.. Shockey (1994). whereas cherts from secondary context appear more isotropic (depolarized). X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Until a few years ago. Shackley (1998) has provided a good synopsis and comparison of the most commonly employed instrumental geochemical analyses. He stressed that these techniques are not useful without a good understanding of geology. Before this information can be applied to prehistoric occupations. tested three chert types from Oklahoma and Texas.” It is not applicable to widespread. concentrating on neutron activation analysis (NAA). Using polarized light. An entire field of study. some of which is inherent in their very place and nature of origin. sampling considerations. the chemical variability affecting source areas. most visual techniques are inevitably subject to a certain amount of inaccuracy. however. Originally proposed by Kelly (1985) and known as minimum nodule analysis. can be found in Church (1994). he found that cherts from primary context appear more anisotropic (polarized). termed “sourcing” analysis. and then by X-ray fluorescence. Almost half the sample was classified incorrectly by visual techniques. has arisen around determining the origin of specific rocks. and a massive bibliography.. Taking a sample of 29 obsidian artifacts and 1 unworked nodule from Tikal. Larson (1994) advocated a relatively easy. A recent discovery that some cherts fluoresce under ultraviolet light (Hofman et al.

may enable archaeologists to provide information on complex economic or kin-based relations. 1993). Seelenfreund et al. 1995. for Mediterranean sources. the Middle Woodland period has always held special fascination because of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere. Most obsidian samples of this period that have been analyzed originated at Obsidian Bluff. Joyce et al. (1990) submitted some Ohio Hopewell samples for obsidian . 1985.. In North America. substantial sourcing effort has been conducted using instrumental NAA. In instances where visual and geochemical determinations have been compared. 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. Larson. p. that is.. 1991). using the Berkeley Reactor Facility (Asaro et al. In South America. 1005) also suggested that. Braswell and Glascock (1998) were able to distinguish seven distinct chemical “fingerprints” corresponding to spatially discrete subsources within the principal source area. can increase sample size to a level suitable for accurate distributional analysis. (1996) were able to separate obsidian sources into six major groups by clustering the results of PIXE/PIGME analyses. 1995). Such fine-grained discrimination. Wyoming. Obsidian A large proportion of recent sourcing analyses has involved obsidian. Braswell et al. This research has provided characterizations of obsidian sources and contact or exchange relationships for several Mexican regions and sites (e. 1994). Tykot and Ammerman (1997. the origin of most of obsidian is still determined on visual criteria.. 1994). Jackson and Love. (1994) have achieved some success in assigning geological sources on the basis of visual criteria accompanied by abbreviated NAA with short irradiation procedures.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 273 in situations where the visible attributes of exploited lithic resources are highly variable. for example. a combination of visual sorting and X-ray analysis. However.g. a long-distance trading and redistribution network. knowing exactly which quarry was employed in a particular instance.. Hatch et al. to the varied chert resources of the Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming (Kelly. visual techniques have been shown to be considerably less than accurate (e. Further south in Chile and Argentina.. and this was also true of the only obsidian artifact ever found on a Kansas City Hopewell site (Hughes. using an electron microprobe. In regions of volcanic activity such as Mesoamerica. At the San Mart´ ın Jilotepeque source in Guatemala. Further east. Ecuadorian sources east of Quito have been characterized through NAA and XRF analyses. a volcanic glass that can often be traced to a specific volcanic flow. Trombold et al.g. It has been applied extensively. Because of the expense of geochemical analyses and limited availability of suitable laboratories.

from Gollu Dag in central Anatolia to the northern Negev during the Chalcolithic period (Yellin et al. Chert Artifacts of chert or flint (the two terms are used here interchangeably) are more common on archaeological sites than those of obsidian.274 Odell hydration dating and for sourcing through NAA and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) analysis. 1992) have now been identified as important sources of prehistoric obsidian tools. In one of these. 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. In many cases. For instance. Their obsidian hydration dates were spread over several generations. this substance moved a long way—for example. In addition to the methods mentioned earlier. a technique employing the magnetic susceptibility of southwestern obsidians was evaluated as inexpensive and providing some degree of discrimination. as Jimmy Griffin speculated several years ago. who disagreed with their conclusion that the artifacts were of different ages. geochemical analyses are too costly to be practical for most situations. 1997). but not robust enough to be used as a sole sourcing measure (Church and Caraveo. 1996). Stevenson and McCurry (1990) have identified four regional obsidian sources in New Mexico. Even now. 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. of course. This point was disputed by Hughes (1992). gravel deposits in the Upper Gila drainage (Shackley.. it seems that previously unknown prehistoric sources of obsidian are being discovered with increasing frequency. sources (Hughes and Fortier. because his own analysis of four rare pieces from the American Bottom showed the presence of both Obsidian Bluff and Bear Gulch. indicating that not all the volcanic glass on Ohio sites had come from one collecting trip. Hughes cannot argue that all Midwestern Middle Woodland obsidian came from a single source. as an analysis of a recent Lower Loup phase site in Nebraska indicated a source in the Jemez volcanic field in northern New Mexico (Hughes and Roper. involve determining the locales or geologic formations from which obsidian artifacts in archaeological contexts originated. 1999). Although my research for this article has been a little light on Old World resources. . 1996). Most studies of this nature. The Obsidian Bluff source may not have been as prominent out on the Plains. And using inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-atomic emission spectrometry. Idaho. however. Shackley (1995) has provided a recent synopsis of research in this region. new ones are continuously being proposed and compared to the standard fare. but geochemical methods for characterizing them have been slow in achieving widespread usage. In the North American Southwest.

. Wyandotte) that achieved widespread distribution in the Middle Woodland period of North America. One of the most useful of these is petrographic analysis. research into the use and procurement of other materials has not lagged far behind.. Other Lithic Materials Chert and obsidian may have been preferred for the manufacture of chipped stone implements. who collected visual data on 13 chert types from northern Illinois and eastern Iowa. whose principal objective was to determine the location of origin of the prehistoric axes unearthed in that country. though see Church.. For example. because work has progressed on a number of different substances. the authors constructed a chert identification tree for use in classifying any new piece from among the types tested. as well as to characterize the White River Group silicates from the western United States and distinguish them from other sources (Hoard et al. which were successfully discriminated from Michigan samples supplied by Luedtke (Morrow et al. Cooney and Mandal (1995) have contributed positively to the Irish Stone Axe Project. 1993. Such a method was developed by Ferguson and Warren (1992). NAA was also used to discriminate Flattop Butte (Colorado) from South Dakota sources. Also using conventional petrological . 1995. and that a large proportion of them were manufactured in a limited number of production centers that exploited a restricted range of resources. but they were by no means the only lithic substances employed by prehistoric people. Cobden.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 275 leaving room for more traditional methods. Hess (1996) also employed NAA in an initial characterization of chert sources in Oregon’s Columbia Plateau. and Hoard et al. petrological techniques have proven effective in several instances. 1992) and for characterizing material from Neolithic flint mines from Belgium and the Netherlands (McDonnell et al. which has proven successful with data from the northeastern United States (Lavin and Prothero. 1995). 1992). A neutron activation analysis of several samples from the Clear Creek source area in Illinois yielded homogeneous results. Visual attributes of chert have also been characterized statistically with some success. Petrological techniques allowed the authors to establish that porcellanite was the dominant raw material in the manufacture of these axes. 1992. where he established that three of four pieces that were superficially similar to a local source did not originate there.. 1997). This research is difficult to characterize. using thin sections. Geochemical applications include characterization of blue–gray cherts (e. using a wide variety of analytical techniques.. Sometimes the simplest methods are the best. From the most discriminatory variables. Submission to a discriminant function analysis yielded a mean classification accuracy of over 90%.g. Dongola.

b) also developed a nondestructive. They found that. (1992) developed a nondestructive XRF technique that does not require smooth surfaces and seems well suited to archaeological applications. Williams-Thorpe et al. some effort in North America has been expended on steatite and catlinite. Among geochemical techniques used on nonisotropic stones by sourcing specialists. beginning with petrological analyses and proceeding to inductively coupled plasma (ICP) studies of major elements. when samples were taken on fresh surfaces. they frequently yielded different results. Finally. (1999) employed both chemical and petrological methods to determine the sources of glacial erratics from southern England. identifying 27 separate quarries. Transition metals like zinc. Some discrimination of red ochre deposits from the western United States has been attained using PIXE– PIGME techniques. (1998) attacked the conventional wisdom that all Hopewell platform pipes. concluding that the material came from the Pipestone Quarry in southwestern Minnesota. Truncer et al. and rough and have been troublesome to analyze by using X-ray fluorescence. Penman and Gunderson (1999) employed X-ray powder diffractometry analysis on catlinite found on Oneota sites in Wisconsin. and Pennsylvania. And Hughes et al. and rare earths. suggesting long-distance exchange by 13. However. Weinstein-Evron et al. In other instances. (1999) tested the technique on igneous rocks by comparing two types of XRF (portable and wavelength-dispersive). 1999). though between-source compositional variability may exceed within-source variability in some cases (Erlandson et al. the techniques compared well. vesicular. cobalt. XRF analysis has enjoyed considerable popularity. energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique for characterizing trace elements from felsitic rocks in New England. The latter established that the closest source to these sites was 60 km away. Daniel and Butler (1996) characterized rhyolites in the Carolina Slate Belt. In a study that also was ultimately concerned with heavy tools such as axes.. and iron proved to be better discriminators than did rare earth elements. but when they were taken on weathered surfaces. (1995) submitted basalts from two sites in the Levant to K–Ar dating and an AAS analysis. Hermes and Ritchie (1997a. For instance. Virginia. Latham et al. especially the concentration associated with Illinois Havana Hopewell . (1998) used NAA to discriminate samples from eight steatite quarries in Maryland. substances that are noteworthy in the prehistoric production of ceremonial pipes and other carved objects. 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. Williams-Thorpe et al. Basalts are typically porous. Geochemical techniques other than XRF have also been used to characterize igneous and metamorphic rocks.276 Odell techniques. trace elements.000 years ago. Bakewell (1996) employed similar methods for volcanics from Washington state. petrological techniques have been used with geochemical techniques to good effect.

and X-ray fluorescence. and chemical and mechanical properties. In one study. where stone raw material was not available locally. especially in western North America. and particularly Wyoming. Employing a suite of techniques including XRF. 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.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 277 sites. but not in the frequency of retouched tools. From these he generated a model of high-potential lithic resource procurement areas for the region. Likewise. which possessed an abundance of pebble chert. Use of Raw Materials Descriptions Descriptions of specific raw materials are not infrequent in the literature. origins. from which he tested chalcedonies. depending largely on the distance of the site from the source of raw material. Differential occurrence of specific substances on different sites can be monitored through raw material frequencies and through various typo–technological variables. The effects of raw material availability were evident in the higher proportion of tested cobbles and casual cores at Guattari. ultraviolet analysis. tested through XRF techniques. and compared with gravity models of falloff from source. 2000). The most extensive treatment of flint and chert. He determined that hunter–gatherers employed obsidian from different sources in different ways. These findings have obvious ramifications for distribution studies. cherts. has been offered by Luedtke (1992). Smith (1999) reported on 179 obsidian artifacts from 18 excavated and dated sites. petrological. Also in Wyoming. were quarried and manufactured in southern Ohio. Church (1996) studied the Bearlodge Mountains of northeastern Wyoming. involving the Hopewell Interaction Sphere and subsequent Mississippian trade networks. Resource descriptions for specific areas have also been offered. and distributional analyses. This is a good general background with which to compare descriptions of individual source areas. Kuhn (1991) compared Grotta Guattari. it now appears that the famous pipes and figurines fabricated at Cahokia during the Mississippian period were also made of local flint clays (Emerson and Hughes. . For instance. including characteristics. with Grotta di Sant’ Agostino. the authors established that all of the Havana Hopewell pipes were probably made from the berthierine-rich flint clay deposits of northwestern Illinois. and orthoquartzites by macro and micro descriptions.

the lower the flake : tool ratio. compared two Jordanian Middle Paleolithic sites where the availability of raw materials differed greatly. technology was geared toward maintenance and recycling. 1999). have rejected such models. Cores found in localities distant from sources were more completely consumed. at the consumer sites. whereas the others were distant from it. Material abundance at the sites did not fit a gravity model of falloff from the source. but could be best interpreted as having been caused by differences in mobility organization. The need for bladelets and flakes of a certain size overrode transportation constraints to the point that distance–decay models became inapplicable (Close. The further a site was from the source. 1998). despite varying distances from the lithic source. 1995). Henry (1992). though somewhat smaller than. a form of economizing behavior (Kuhn. suggesting that tool users were not compelled to conserve their material through constant sharpening. however. This relationship has also been reported from northern New Mexico. Dockall and Shafer (1993) and Dockall (1994) developed a producer–consumer model in which the principal producer site. Negrino (1998) documented the specialized production of “ogives” similar to. which were mass-produced and transported around the region for the manufacture of small daggers such as the one Utzi possessed. Consequently. Colha. for instance. . but on organization of technology. Comparing sites with differing relationships to a material source can provide a perspective on regional organization of labor with respect to this technology. the same region and period as Utzi. Working in the Maya region of Belize. Ricklis and Cox’s analysis (Ricklis and Cox. all had similarly sized debitage. and Nohmul. One procurement site in their sample lay near exposed Pliocene gravels. They may have been stockpiling the resource. the greater the percentage of bifacial thinning flakes. these assemblages contain few broken or aborted bifaces and distal fragments and no evidence for primary reduction. an analysis of three contemporary Early Neolithic North African sites showed that.278 Odell These were less abundant at Sant’ Agostino despite the paucity of local toolstones. and the shorter the Perdiz points became. 1993) of Late Prehistoric sites along the Texas coast adds support for gravity models. Studies of oval bifaces showed that. the recently discovered Alpine Ice Man (Spindler. Distance– decay models also appear to have limited validity for southeastern Italian Late Paleolithic sites (Milliken. Pulltrouser Swamp. where Newman (1994) established that the mean volume of flakes ( L × W × T ) became smaller with distance from the source. 1994). In another study. was compared to consumer occupations at Santa Rita Corozal. the Colha oval bifaces. The intensity of tool production at a particular locality was dependent not on trade. the length of their bifaces is considerably shorter than at the producer site. At a quarry/workshop in this region. 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. Other studies.

Use of Materials in Different Periods Raw material use changed over time in most regions. According to predictions. which then were fashioned into projectile points and endscrapers. But in one recent study of the Estremadura region of Portugal. 1992). a higher percentage of nonlocal than local material was retouched (Roth and Dibble. At this large winter aggregation. though the mechanics of this change have usually not been specified. for instance. Exotic materials in this region were occasionally maximized by bipolar reduction. From these data they concluded that (1) each house constituted a corporate group. They employed nonlocal materials disproportionately for weaponry and local materials predominantly for nonprojectile types such as scrapers. (1996) have shown for the Keatley Creek settlement in interior British Columbia. the authors established that each pithouse unit contained a different spectrum of the five major raw material groups present on the site.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 279 Use of Materials Within a Site or Component Useful information can be gleaned from the distribution of raw materials within a site. At one upland locale in Oregon. Thacker (1996) illustrated different exploitative .and middle-stage bifaces and expedient tools. established that nonlocal cores were smaller than local ones were. whereas nonlocal materials dominated the formal tool types (Andrefsky. as Hayden et al. The exotic cherts and obsidians were represented primarily by finished tools and final-stage debris. Studies from western North America demonstrate that different raw materials were employed for specific kinds of tools. The preponderance of bifacial thinning and edge retouch flakes of Phosphoria chert in contrast to the abundance of core reduction flakes of Morrison quartzite illustrates the different uses of these two substances (Ingbar. continuing work at the Hanson site in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming has shown that Phosphoria chert was brought into the site as preforms. (2) these groups had practiced the same lifestyle for a long time. 1995). Most other studies of this nature have employed typo–technological data for their interpretations. formal tools made of lowland cherts were transported there and replenished by local andesites (MacDonald. but in contrast to the Sant’ Agostino example cited earlier. 1994). 1998). Amick (1999) established that Folsom people were selective in their choice of raw materials for specific tool types. Working within the Paleoindian period. having been reduced further. In another study from western North America. An analysis of an assemblage from the Combe-Capelle Bas site in France. and (3) the groups went to different areas during their spring dispersal. local raw material dominated the expedient tool category. whereas local andesites were represented by early. Finally.

Kozlowski (1998) also established that different procurement strategies were practiced by the Gravettian. Epigravettian. in part. 1997). of which I consider only two. and that these effects varied from one period to another. obsidian. 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.000 years. In these remote islands.280 Odell strategies of Upper Paleolithic Gravettian and Magdalenian groups that sequentially inhabited this region. in which all toolstone materials had to be imported. Studying West New Britain obsidian sources that have been utilized for the past 20. as aggregated settlements established buffer zones that allowed people to range freely within a territory. 1993). 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. In one recent study in northern New Mexico. Magdalenian people were more sparing of resources than Gravettian folks were. Torrence et al. by sea level changes and tectonic uplift that affected the Willaumez Peninsula. and Magdalenian groups. Changing relationships between land and water may have caused the inundation of some sources and changed the overall accessibility of others. reasons for the decline probably relate to the decreasing social or political value of the commodity. and engaging in a more expeditious use of quartzite. using smaller implements. Other investigations suggest that sociopolitical factors played an important role in raw material distributions. moving their flint further. and basalt resources. To the northeast. Likewise. Walsh (1998) related raw material diversity to local competition for chert. (1996) found significant differences in their patterns of exploitation. Diversity increased again in the Classic period. or at least social. where some of the most important sources were located. Because this topic is more effectively discussed as a separate methodology . The first is the spatial distribution of artifacts within a region or a site. the amount of obsidian transported to the sites decreased over time. These differences were probably caused. 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. in the Polish region around Krakov. considerations were also foremost in a study of archaeological obsidian and chert on the Reefs/Santa Cruz Islands of Melanesia (Sheppard. Because these tools were not utilized more thoroughly than other tools were and their use was not specialized. Differences in raw material distribution may be attributable to differences in their relative accessibility. Political.

Their goal was to derive quantitatively based impressions of the degree of expedient or curated tool use in the region. a procedure that facilitated the detection of trends in raw material utilization in Central Europe. in attempting to understand the mechanical processes that contribute to the fracture of brittle solids. area-focused. Peterson et al. In a similarly conceived investigation. and structure-focused—and produced some evidence for similar general use of localities from the Lower Paleolithic through Magdalenian periods. it provides tight controls on relevant variables. In this study. In my opinion. my discussion here is brief. This research is different from replicative experimentation in that. flake experimentation is primarily concerned with the mechanical principles of fracture. He concluded that stylistically homogeneous and selective Clovis artifacts moved large distances in a single direction—representative of what one might predict from a colonizing population. a relatively even distribution of obsidian across several large platform mound sites. Using lithic materials. and the occurrence of nonlocal obsidian at smaller sites without public architecture. Takacs-Biro’s analysis (Takacs-Biro. and it carefully measures specific attributes of the systems under scrutiny. because this element is essential for comprehending processes of reduction—the quintessential lithic imperative—as it governs the form . Ebert and Camilli (1993) compared distributions from various sites from the Seedskadee survey in Wyoming. Concentrating on a specific raw material. 1994). 1998) of raw material use in the Middle Neolithic through Chalcolithic periods of Hungary is noteworthy. a few intrasite spatial analyses have been conducted recently. A second study synthesized spatial patterning for several Western European Paleolithic sites. Tankersley (1994) monitored the distribution of several well-known chert types on Clovis sites.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 281 than with lithic analysis. instead of recreating a particular object and the human motor responses necessary to produce it. Koetje (1994) detected three basic types of internal spatial patterning— hearth-focused. For instance. They concluded that a kinbased reciprocity model best fit their data. understanding the ways rocks break constitutes the heart of lithic analysis. One such investigation involved a Gravettian habitation in Austria that yielded distinct clustering of scrapers (Montet-White and Williams. using grid data and analytical techniques employing dimensional analysis of variance. The other type of distribution considered here is the differential occurrence of raw materials and type groups within a region. Regionally. density maps were presented for six raw material type groups for each of three periods. They detected limited evidence for trade in finished products. FLAKE EXPERIMENTATION Some of the most important current work in the field is being accomplished experimentally. (1997) inspected obsidian patterning on 11 Hohokam sites in the American Southwest.

Bradbury and Carr (1999) compared soft. but that neither has a major effect on determining flake mass. bipolar. they are measurable entities that appear in any collection of chipped stone tools and are thus available to any interested prehistorian. Striking platform morphologies differ as a function of raw material. mass is a function of platform thickness (PT) and (2) for any PT. Dibble and Pelcin’s study (Dibble and Pelcin. The good news is. Thus the indicators we have been using to distinguish hardfrom soft-hammer percussion should be reexamined. comparing ball bearing (hard) to antler (soft). Employing a continuum model. Without understanding this element. The basis for most of the recent studies in this genre is Dibble and Whittaker’s analysis (Dibble and Whittaker. varied EPA at increments of 15◦ . using a mechanical device that drops steel ball bearings onto plate glass cores. an increase in a variable such as EPA necessitates a decrease in other variables such as PT to render the same mass. and 75◦ . for as this variable increases there is a progression through six termination types. This study established PT and EPA as variables essential for comprehending how rocks fracture. using steel ball indenters and glass edge cores with a constant blow angle of 70◦ . most of the recent work in this field has been accomplished at the University of Pennsylvania. He found that flake initiation is determined not by amount of force or indenter type. Some detail is necessary to explain what is going on here. 1997b) determined the effect of indenter type. The essential concept here is flake mass. In one series of experiments.and hard-hammer percussion and biface. Another study (Pelcin. which controls other variables. uniface. These relationships were reinforced by another set of experiments in which Pelcin (1997c). which arrived at two paramount conclusions: (1) for any platform angle. To make sure that this was the case. Apart from this. we cannot understand the field. These variables were also tested by Dibble (1997) on a sample of 12. and core reduction.282 Odell of both manufacture and use–wear. whereas scar morphology has little relation to the size of the flake. such as angle of blow or weight of indenter. 35◦ . 81% of flake mass is accounted for by EPA and PT. Results showed that antler . they developed a classification function enabling a researcher to distinguish biface from core reduction flakes. but by PT and EPA. He demonstrated that both EPA and striking platform area (PT × PW or platform width) affect flake weight.000 complete flakes from Europe and the Near East. asserting that there is room for both stage. for example. PT also affects terminations. 1981).and continuum-based approaches among our standard techniques. at a 70◦ angle. each raw material type having its own curve for these relationships. larger exterior platform angles (EPA) result in larger flakes. An unexpected result of this study was that one can produce bending flakes with a hard hammer by increasing PT on a core with a low EPA. that can no longer be measured on archaeological specimens. 55◦ . 1995) reestablished that both indenter mass and velocity are important. these are not variables.

knapping equipment. and then sharpened them. In his reply. Cores simply never look like that. flakes from the edge core were longer than those from the face core. As before. lipping of the impacted area did not distinguish indenter type. The authors advocated the use of triangular-shaped cores in experiments like this. Pelcin (1998). Of course. Davis and Shea (1998) knapped 33 obsidian flakes. saying that these were laboratory-controlled conditions and are not directly applicable to real-life conditions. But here we return to Davis and Shea’s reason for testing these propositions in the first place: If there is no relation. including strategies of manipulation and sequencing. and at some point there is a need to relate these findings to the real world. Perhaps most important for analysts. more importantly. Dibble (1998) agreed that the omission of PW in the calculations probably led to a systematic error in the result. In an attempt to render these results useful for analysts. did not agree that PW was an important enough variable to be included. Antler-produced flakes had thinner bulbs of percussion for small PT. suggesting that the accuracy of estimating original flake mass can vary considerably depending on the type of initiation. As they saw it. but with less expansion. although there was no difference between the average mass of the flakes removed from the two core types. Thus we ought to separate conchoidal from bending flakes—a pretty difficult distinction to achieve in reality. though there was no significant difference for large PT. He also defended the original experimental program. then who cares? TECHNOLOGY By “technology” I mean the various processes that contribute to the production of stone tools. used (actually. Pelcin (1997a) also investigated the role of core surface morphology on resulting flakes.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 283 flakes were longer and thinner with no difference in width. however. Pelcin failed to adequately incorporate platform width (PW) along with PT and EPA in his calculations. flake mass is unaffected by core morphology. and knowledge of raw materials and operative forces. abraded) them. using steel balls and controlling two variables: edge versus face core and 55◦ versus 75◦ angles of blow. but core morphology determines how mass is distributed. No difference in mass was produced by the two indenter types. but an attempt to use Pelcin’s predictor equation of predicted mass : reduced mass resulted in at least a 33% underestimation of original flake mass. Conversely. This experiment determined that an increase in PT increases flake mass. This is a large . citing support for this position from his dissertation and new data. there has been a reaction to all these steel balls being dropped onto cores with undifferentiated flat dorsal surfaces. The authors confirmed the relationship between flake mass and platform area. flake length and thickness increased with increases in PT.

Some nifty detective work by Ken Tankersley pointed the finger at a modern knapper from Georgia. 1996) with one of the last of the Cypriot knappers. Theirs was a relatively simple technology but only a few people were proficient in the craft. The pursuit of profit 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. in most areas of the world this is a relict trade whose economic worth has been superseded by other technologies. 1991) demonstrated how blade workshops can be identified among these people and suggested spatial relationships between dumps and workshops. 1998. and I have created divisions somewhat arbitrarily. Today flintknapping has become popular once again but. Inizan et al.284 Odell and complex subject. As depicted sympathetically in Whittaker’s interview (Whittaker. both as an avocation and as an unscrupulous. for example. though Waldorf’s The Art of Flintknapping (Waldorf. though increasingly rarely. (1992) have produced a competent compendium of common techniques and terminology. The most recent even-handed analysis of this situation is . before such knappers became obsolete in the 1950s. market-oriented activity. who ultimately admitted the forgeries (Preston. 1999. In fact. particularly in its later days. Patten. 1995). Alphredos Andreou traveled from village to village. Flintknapping is still being practiced among the Lacandon Maya. Flintknapping also serves as an effective hands-on tool for generating interest among students in the more general subject of archaeology (Rosen and Clark. The practice has spawned at least three manuals designed both as professional sources and as how-to books for the novice (Baena Preysler. 1996). 1979) continues to be a strong influence. Likewise. Spain (Benito del Rey and Benito Alvarez. Clark’s recent study (Clark. Studies of the results of knapper behavior are of obvious import to archaeologists—as. hammer-and-core technology with no core preparation (Watson. 1999). observations of flintknapping among Highland New Guinea natives before the incursion of metals revealed a simple. according to where research efforts have been conducted. it has become so popular that professionals are beginning to worry about contamination of the prehistoric record by the remains of modern practitioners (Dickson. 1997) for the distribution of debris around a standing knapper. as Mike Collins has reminded me. 1994). hand-held. Whittaker. 1996). 1994). particularly on the avocational practitioner. Similar technologies are still being employed for the manufacture of flint inserts for threshing sledges in Segovia. repairing threshing sledges and making inserts for them for separating grain from chaff and for breaking straw into small bits. particularly for European technologists. Kvamme’s recent development of an exponential equation (Kvamme. For 10 years. Flintknapping Times have changed for flintknappers.

Old World Data In the literature that I have consulted on assemblage reconstruction. but a few studies suffice to indicate what is being accomplished. who documented the increasing destruction of archaeological sites and the creation of bogus ones by modern flintknappers. (3) knap-ins have provided a valuable learning environment for lithic technologists. (2) many avocational knappers are very protective of the archaeological resource. Italy. One could ask. hand–eye coordination. 1995). because (1) professional archaeologists engaged in this pursuit have also unwittingly created bogus sites. Kuhn interpreted the . Notable among additional analyses are distinctions between “recurrent” centripetal Levallois debitage and debitage from non-Levallois discoidal techniques (Boeda. In one. 1995). Technologists have gained considerable ground in understanding the Levallois reduction strategy. competitiveness. 1986. This exercise supported the contention that this is a male-dominated activity. though core types do not contradict recent definitions of the concept. 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. Two studies of this period have emphasized non-Levalloisian techniques. Technological Analyses A bread-and-butter issue among lithic analysts is the synopsis of tool production in an assemblage. These kinds of analyses are too numerous for complete coverage here. these studies emphasize the end products. Lenoir and Turq. work spearheaded by Eric Boeda’s dissertation and his subsequent studies of French Mousterian industries (Boeda. and (4) the interface between professionals and avocationals engaged in this activity has provided one of the best reality checks we have of the public’s perception of archaeology. and that everybody can do it. but only a few can do it well. The authors’ appraisal of modern knapping by avocationists is not overwhelmingly negative. What sorts of people are pursuing this activity these days? This was on Olausson’s mind (Olausson. 1993. or the tools themselves. most attention has been paid to the Middle Paleolithic period.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 285 by Whittaker and Stafford (1999). and a creative or artistic bent. imagining three-dimensional objects. I divide the field into Old and New World applications and general technological issues. however. 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 do not fit most classical definitions of the Levallois technique. Kuhn (1995) discussed the lithic industries of Grotta di Sant’ Agostino.

Primarily in rock shelters. Recently Turq (1992) has determined that the Quina facies of southern France. he noted two very different groups of industries. France. and their determination of flake shape by controlling the placement of dorsal ridges. Although many of the analyses of Middle Paleolithic material have been conducted on European assemblages. and remnants of that debate are still being felt. The selection of a cobble with an appropriate crosssection would serve the same purpose as a prepared Levallois core. evolved into the Upper Paleolithic inhabitants of the region. that “Bordes is dead”—meaning that. Pelegrin (1995) investigated the incipient blade industries of the Chatelperronian layers at Roc-de-Combe and La Cote.” The concept was also quantitatively problematic. as tool assemblages in different facies were rarely significantly . characterized by a limited degree of core preparation and scarcity of core maintenance products but a high proportion of modified flakes. 1998). which he equated with specific peoples. rendering the distinction operationally meaningless in this case. Freeman (1992. In the second study. represented highly mobile foragers. Nietzsche-like. 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. that is. Many American researchers of the Middle Paleolithic have declared. 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. At these sites Neanderthals fabricated short blades for use as Chatelperronian points. I have not concentrated on these areas. an indigenous. trying to figure out what commonalities hold it together. side of the issue. use of small cobble blanks. or ethnic. p. Pelegrin saw no influences from industries produced by anatomically modern Homo sapiens.286 Odell lack of core preparation at the site as a result of raw material constraints. several scholars have studied one Mousterian facies or another. The often-cited Bordes–Binford debate has provided ample grist for discussion over the years. Alongside these people he detected a desert/varied environmentadapted “Nubian” population with complex cultural features (van Peer. Based on typological and technological indices. Van Peer (1991) has been even more explicit in stating that the North African lithic industries he depicts probably represented ethnic divisions. Quina sites were frequently reoccupied and exhibited a distinct lack of functional specificity. His reconstructions of reduction sequences have demonstrated Mousterian technical efficiency and standardization in this region. although distinct differences among Mousterian assemblages exist. Africa and the Middle East have not been neglected. riverineadapted Nile Valley population. but I would be remiss if I omitted the work of van Peer (1992) on Levallois strategies in the Nile Valley. suggesting that the two subspecies generally avoided each other. On the Bordesian. One of these.

he found techno–functional differences such as the Upper Paleolithic use of soft hammers. Finally. The most striking of these was a gradual increase of the lateral indentation index from . Because a large proportion of New World assemblages has a bifacial component. 1999) of fluted points from North. technological discussion tends to emphasize bifacial trajectories. Central. level 16). constitute the most specific and labor intensive of these. tool standardization. They also demonstrated some correlation with climate. He found no significant differences in cutting-edge efficiency. and inclusion of light projectile points or blades functioning as barbs. 1995) and failure rates (Ellis and Payne. such as reduction sequences (Morrow. or assemblage structure. 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. distinctions that might be linked to linguistic capabilities. In the literature of American lithic technology. Using several Middle Paleolithic assemblages from southern France. they have received the most attention. though some of the following is probably generalizable to Central and South America as well. Quina with cold. often called projectile points. 1992) detailed a situation impossible to explain in Bordesian terms: large assemblages representing different Mousterian facies in a single. 1995). New World Data The “New World” discussed here is mostly North America. Morrow and Morrow’s comparison (Morrow and Morrow. occupation level (Cueva Morin. but specific differences are also apparent. Instead. each of which varied in continuous. And because hafted bifaces. The Middle Paleolithic was not the only period in which tool shapes were transformed from one type to another. sometimes repeatedly. denticulate with warm. Dibble and Roland (1992) supported this argument by showing that Mousterian groups varied from one another on suites of different attributes.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 287 different from one another in a statistical sense. Chazan (1995) tested the proposition that the Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition was the result of language development. Hiscock (1996) showed how scrapers were modified into burins and vice versa. relatively short. and South America demonstrated a continuum of change from one continent to another within three shape indices. for example. concentration of retouch on the proximal and distal ends. A technological continuum between North and South American fluted points suggests their common origin. Several scholars have tried to establish technological parameters for these artifacts. not discrete. In Upper Paleolithic Dabba industries at Haua Fteah. Freeman’s latest salvo (Freeman. of course. there is no more popular object than the Paleoindian point. fashion. primarily because of the distinctive basal fluting on many of them. for example.

Aldenderfer (1991) was able to specify areas of relatively intense biface production and specialized unifacial tools. In several excavation blocks within the quarry. from blank procurement through recycling. an analysis of the bifaces revealed a sequence of flake removals and a legacy of knapping errors. from biface production to anvil and hard-hammer percussion of flake blanks. The debris was characterized by small bifacial sharpening and rejuvenation flakes. but at long last we have . Deller and Ellis (1992) also determined that primary reduction at Thedford II. In yet another type of site. Gnecco (1994) showed that. In one of these small Late Classic sites in Guatemala. the analysts were able to depict two reduction strategies for flake blanks and bifacially worked cores. Points might progress through seven stages. for interpreting the reduction sequence of Plains Village arrowheads. Technological analyses have been conducted not just on prehistoric habitations. with finished tools and preforms sent to the camp. For instance. South Dakota. fluting technology was also associated with projectile point styles from other periods. individual attributes eventually diverging through processes of stylistic drift. refitting and experimentation allowed Petraglia (1994) to interpret a quartzite quarry on the Potomac River in Virginia. he was able to distinguish specific activities. in South America. though the initial shaping of cores and the production of tools used in extractive tasks occurred elsewhere. probably for the manufacture of Duncan points. derived from Schiffer’s model of systemic context. Wyckoff (1992) employed refitting techniques to model knapping strategies. 1993) of a McKean Culture component at the Lightning Spring site.288 Odell north to south (indicating increasing “fishtailness” toward the south). In another assemblage from the Great Plains. Despite the lack of primary reduction. General Issues For years lithic analysis has remained without a general how-to guide of the sort that has proliferated among other material classes. Ahler (1992) presented a conceptual system. occurred at the quarry. Refitting techniques highlighted failures that arrested an object in a particular portion of the sequence. They argued that fluting developed in the interior of North America and spread north and south from there. Data from 57 fractured and refitted arrowheads resulted in a classification of fracture types and an assessment of systemic categories. Strategies were characterized by their differential orientation to the banding within the tabular chert that was being exploited. An example of this type of study applied to a later cultural group is Keyser and Fagan’s analysis (Keyser and Fagan. a protohistoric cache in Oklahoma. impairing its use as a chronological marker. a Parkhill Complex camp in Ontario. Analyses of other sites demonstrate where these blanks and preforms usually ended up. but on a variety of sites. The resulting impression was that the knappers had a standard template.

For example. One of these is the old eolith controversy. they were usable tools in their own right. all present at the site. With respect to new technologies that can be applied to technological analyses. 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. Archaeological techniques for understanding prehistoric technology continue to include experimentation. Sahnouni et al. Not only do techniques like experimentation recur from time to time. The Kirmington flakes were not a perfect fit for either group. arriving at eight variables that were helpful in discriminating between natural and artifactual flakes. so the authors embarked on an experimental program of making flakes from 150 pieces of limestone. that is. Its principal focus is technological.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 289 one: Andrefsky’s Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis (Andrefsky. This equipment is explained and applied to scraper retouch and biface orientation in McPherron and Dibble (1999). therefore. He compared artifacts from known archaeological sites with nonartifactual stones. but so do our research questions. A major impetus for such an idea was the confusion caused by the term “debitage.” though Near Eastern archaeologists employ it to denote blanks that could be made into tools. 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. but were closer to the artifactual than to the natural side. some of these flakes are probably genuine. in others. 47).” which “in French means the action that consists of the intentional fracture of a block of stone. and it should simplify planning for college courses in this subject. The experimenters established that spheroids may represent an extreme end of a reduction continuum for limestone cores. The results revealed a progression from one known core type through another. One possibility for the formation of these forms was their employment as cores. p. 1993. image digitization may provide a solution for a multitude of problems. In typical American usage. either to give it a particular shape or to use the products resulting from that fracture” (Marois. Because my research has primarily involved the American literature. (1997) were concerned about the formation of limestone spheroids at Ain Hanech and other Early Paleolithic sites in East Africa. the term means “chipping debris. 1998).” 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. Shott (1994) has produced a useful synopsis of recent . the term is used here to mean “chipping debris. In some cases these flakes constitute by-products.

its validity is suspect. it offered a decision key that simplified the process for even the most inexperienced of analysts. Amick and Maulden (1997) conducted knapping experiments with cores and bifaces/tools to study the effects of raw materials on breakage patterns. this fear has spawned an impressive backlash that has continued well into the 1990s. and subjected the data to multivariate analysis (this time. 1997. what do these breakage types tell you? The main concern among many analysts has been the very popularity of the system. This situation has caused some frustration among analysts. p. assigned categories. The problem is. “Breakage patterns fail to behave consistently with any variables other than raw material” (Amick and Maulden. but only on “pure” assemblages. In an attempt to isolate factors responsible for assemblage variability. A substantial amount of labor has been expended in finding variables that correlate with specific parameters in which we are interested. striking platform attributes. whether or not a debitage assemblage was mixed and in which direction. However. Austin (1999) also replicated debitage assemblages. the results indicated that the Sullivan–Rozen system is highly reliable in the sense that it produces consistent results. Testing Types of Analysis Debitage analysis has always been a difficult endeavor. they achieved greatest discrimination with split flakes in basalt and quartzite. Morrow (1997) included the Sullivan–Rozen breakage typology in a comparison with mass analysis. which explains why Sullivan and Rozen’s analytical system (Sullivan and Rozen. Prentiss (1998) produced a series of experimental debitage assemblages in obsidian. Based on principal components analysis. Discriminating flakes on the basis of breakage types. When he simulated mixed assemblages of patterned tool : core reduction. 25) and would not recommend use of this system for interpreting debitage types. and metric attributes in . Thus he could tell. because the meaning of seemingly undifferentiated flakes is not immediately obvious.290 Odell developments in debitage analysis. then we will be left with a huge quantity of analyses that are essentially meaningless. discriminant function). using hard and soft hammers and pressure flakers. and Andrefsky (1998) has provided an outline of the various approaches to the subject. if everybody decides to analyze their rocks in this way. screened the flakes. He achieved high accuracy rates. He then assigned them to Sullivan–Rozen categories and sifted the flakes through a 1/4-inch mesh screen. and if the results do not provide much useful information. In one of the latest salvos. bivariate plots of the first two functions yielded centroids intermediate between centroids of the “pure” assemblages. Needless to say. Using Sullivan–Rozen categories. as the variability produced among the five assemblages was so great that distinctive assemblages could not be identified. using these methods. that is. 1985) took the field by storm. They concluded.

e. At least two studies have made some headway on this problem. (1998. primary reduction occurred between the houses and pits. Another study that employed nested screens involved archaeological debitage from Tula. not within the houses. combining mass and individual flake 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. 1995) involved a series of 11 reduction experiments in Ft. The use of additional variables increased the probability of success in predicting the reduction stage. Cortex cover varied a lot and should not be employed as a primary defining attribute. Rather. and the idea has not yet been independently evaluated. Bradbury (1998) applied this concept. The authors found that lipping was exclusively limited to soft-hammer reduction. but many soft-hammer flakes do not show this attribute. using nested screens. The other systems were appropriate for discriminating some parameters. Root (1997) also combined these two analytical types to estimate tool production at the Benz site in North Dakota. Steffen et al. debitage represents the manufacture process by representing the state of the core. 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. Healan (1995) used factor analysis to distinguish refuse dumps from reduction loci. 145) have suggested that to treat assemblages as representative of complete reduction trajectories might be counterproductive. He found evidence of production for exchange (i. His principal point was that it is most effective to employ more than one type of debitage analysis on an assemblage. production of more tools than would have been needed for a household) during Late Paleoindian Cody Complex and Late Archaic times. Testing Variables One of the elements that has made debitage analysis so difficult is that analysts have not been certain which variables were most valuable in discriminating parameters of interest such as reduction stage or trajectory. it was dorsal facet count. . Mexico..Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 291 another series of replicated debitage experiments. Considering debitage analysis from a different perspective. It is interesting that Bradbury and Carr’s study supported Ahler’s mass analysis system. The first (Bradbury and Carr. Payne chert. but only for unmixed assemblages. He found that the only category that possessed technological discriminatory power in this system was shatter. among non-PRBs. but ineffectual for others. submitting 8 variables to cluster and factor analyses. At this point it is unclear what practical benefit might accrue from this shift in emphasis. Significantly. Indeed. p. Under the assumption that secondary refuse areas would contain larger debris than primary reduction locales would. thus. The best discriminating variable among platform remnant-bearing (PRB) flakes was platform facet count.

Like Bradbury and Carr. and damage. though not necessarily involving stone implements. Italy. in one series she established that sickles of the Karanovo type. Another common subject of experimentation concerns the efficacy of specific flintknapping techniques. though most of its apparatus does not involve stone. Likewise. Analytical Techniques Efficiency Experiments I have already alluded to several techniques that archaeologists have been using to interpret lithic assemblages.. which Mathieu and Meyer (1997) compared with bronze and steel axes. Piece Refitting Conjoining flakes or fragments in an assemblage has been a beneficial way to infer qualities that otherwise would remain conjectural. the efficiency of several specific tools has been investigated by these methods. instead. 1993a). are more efficient than straight-bladed sickles are (Skakun. Couch et al. but with larger diameter trunks.292 Odell In another experimental assay. Finally. He found no evidence of discrete stages in any of the attributes tested. A popular subject of experimentation in this field is the sickle. They concluded that all materials were effective for tree trunks of small diameter. Efficiency experiments have been as varied as the questions archaeologists are required to answer. Shott (1996b) recorded the replication of a Gainey fluted point of Wyandotte chert. 1999). 1998. Another is the stone axe. Several experiments in primitive agriculture. Quintero et al. that is. Skakun has experimented liberally with this implement in Bulgaria. moisture content. the thickness of stone axes became a barrier to penetration. establishing important parameters with regard to raw material hafting. For example. are reported in Anderson (1992b). as there was no simple decline in this attribute with flake removal number. One of these tools. (1997) also conducted an extensive series of sickle experiments. Two that have been relatively popular are efficiency experiments and piece refitting. Schick and Toth (1993) conducted a suite of replicative experiments. One of its principal uses . serration. the average log-weight of flakes decreased and log-scar density increased continuously with the amount of reduction. he was skeptical about the use of cortex cover to define stages. Patterson (1995) pursued an experimental trajectory for determining the efficacy of chert flakes as pressure flaking tools. to understand how early hominids made tools. in which the blades are slightly offset from one another. is the atlatl and dart (Baugh. Fontana and Nenzioni (1998) pursued a similar tactic for comprehending the pebble industry practiced prehistorically in the vicinity of Bologna.

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. but also that the site’s duration of occupation was not longer than the use-life of a formal bifacial tool. Morrow (1996) identified several “ghosts” (holes in refitted cores from artifacts that were removed from the site) and “orphans” (transported-in artifacts that do not refit to anything). the further one retreats in time. Refitting 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. bone. Refitting of red– brown rhyolite artifacts in the western concentration at the site supported a retooling and recycling episode. Schick (1991) was able to establish transport distances of 3–5 km and frequently more than 10 km. These not only indicated the extent of intersite transport. . 1995). Grimm and Koetje (1992) documented several distinct knapping events in the same area of the Solvieux site in France. 1999). which strongly suggested advance planning. Close’s conjoining analysis (Close. but between them. Even for this period. this is considerably more than comparable behavior among modern chimpanzees. a 200. Hofman (1992a) used refitting 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. In a slightly different vein. 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. for example.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 293 has been to acquire a detailed understanding of lithic technologies. Similarly. These people used pack animals to haul large stone nodules. and rough stone were conjoined not only within major artifact concentrations. used this technique to infer that the five stone artifact concentrations at Stewart’s Cattle Guard site in Colorado were deposited on the same surface. perhaps to provide better purchase for the percusser (Baffier et al. Another issue that refitting has helped resolve is whether or not retooling and “curation” (in this case. The issue of intersite transport was also of concern at the Early Archaic Twin Ditch site in the lower Illinois Valley. Jodry (1992).000-year-old Saalian site—one of the earliest camps to have yielded this sort of information (Guilbaud and Carpentier. and they stockpiled the stone. constituting evidence for contemporaneity and a communal lifestyle (Bodu. Occupants spread red ochre liberally on their cores. This goal was achieved at Tourville-la-Riviere. France.. 1991). Of course. transporting artifacts from one locale to another) occurred. Here flakes. Even if the transport occurred in small increments. Another use of refitting analysis is to ascertain the integrity of occupation surfaces. Similarly. It has also been employed to establish a diversity of reduction stages and methods at Acheulean sites in the Somme region of France (Lamotte. an unlikely occurrence if the level was disturbed. This was important to Conard and Adler (1997) at Wallertheim D in the Rhineland because they were dealing with a Middle Paleolithic occupation.

thus. Prehistoric Techniques Bipolar Reduction Most lithic reduction in prehistory. they simply had a lousy toolstone to work with. a crude core. Where this aspect is discussed. resulting in a degenerate-looking lithic assemblage. For example. Finally. was probably accomplished through freehand techniques. this information can be employed for many of the same purposes as conjoining analyses. they were forced to beat it into submission. standardized blades. The resulting break edges were then employed as gravers and straight-edged planes. so reduction mode is not stated in most reports.294 Odell 1991). One way of regarding bipolar reduction is as a recycling of cores into flakes by total exhaustion of the cores. Root et al. The people who fashioned these pieces were not dim-witted or handicapped. 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. 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. it must be notable in its own right. smaller cores of lesser quality for tools used in more expedient tasks. (1999) have noted this phenomenon among retouched tools in the Knife River flint quarry area of North Dakota. like today. That is. MAN analysis has been successfully applied to sites with chert from the variegated Madison Formation of the Bighorn Mountains (Larson and Kornfeld. if a piece does not refit to another but one can be reasonably certain that the two pieces came from the same nodule. In one instance. He was able to . one could try a minimum analytical nodule (MAN) analysis (see Kelly. Techniques for ascertaining a bipolar technology are varied. there is the issue of what to do if piece refitting does not work. at the Upper Mississippian Washington Irving site in Illinois. and “humpback bifaces” present on the site.or nodule-smashing technique that would not be worthy of mention except for what it implies about the availability of raw materials. Refitting of heated stones allowed the recognition of evolution in hearth forms (Julien et al. And they reduced their nodules within two trajectories: large cores for large. Faced with the availability of only small obsidian clasts in the Mojave Desert. That is. If there is sufficient variability in raw material. Such a situation occurs with bipolar reduction. These they call “radial break tools.” produced by smashing the flat side of modified implements such as ultrathin bifaces. 1997). and so forth. 1992). 1985). generally poor raw material. Torres (1998) experimented with the material to see what could be accomplished.. Jeske (1992) noticed the seemingly degenerate lithic technology.

they found experimentally that bipolar reduction was characterized by a high proportion of nonorientable and medial/distal fragments. Reacting to a similar argument advanced by Shott (1989). sites in the Eastern Woodlands. Through use–wear analyses that I have conducted. Working with trachydacite.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 295 produce an average of three to four flakes per clast that were capable of generating a small arrowhead. As many of these authors have noted. and that they look a lot like pi` eces esquill´ ees (and like some bipolar cores). most attributions of bipolar technologies up to the 1990s were made not on the basis of debitage but on the basis of cores. This problem bothered Jeske and Lurie (1993) to the extent that they conducted a blind test. (1998) and Fontana and Nenzioni (1998). reanalysis established that the retouched flakes were made from the bipolar cores. Noting a correlation between retouched flakes and bipolar cores at Debert. Of course. Kuijt et al. Classifying flakes into the Sullivan–Rozen system. and that the only resolution for this problem will be on a case-by-case basis. primarily Paleoindian. Shott’s subsequent proposal (Shott. 1999) for use of the term “splintered piece”— the English equivalent of pi` ece esquill´ ee—is a recognition that value-laden terms may be counterproductive in a controversy of this nature. as well as small size and a high percentage of flakes with cortex cover. LeBlanc (1992) argued that functional wedges existed in prehistory. The authors could then apply this information to archaeological assemblages. it is still difficult to know whether or not an analyst is making correct attributions. . Indeed. this source was important only for small arrowheads in the later prehistory of the region. even using tested debitage characteristics. in British Columbia. when assessing a mixed bag of individual pieces. This occasioned a spirited debate that has continued into this decade. employing the most relevant type of analytical technique for the problem. or pi` eces esquill´ ees were located near a source of raw material. Similar experimental research designs were applied to Italian lithic assemblages by Milliken et al. who argued from the vantage of Debert and similar. These results suggest that it is easy to assess the situation when an assemblage is dominated by either a bipolar or freehand technique. Goodyear also noted that sites containing few or no bipolar cores. I suspect that both sides grasp part of the truth. however. Thus the debate continues. the analyst was 100% accurate for the collection. On unmixed samples.2%. On one side is Goodyear (1993). or vitreous basalt. He interpreted many of these pi` eces esquill´ ees as wedges used to work antler and noted that most of Shott’s ethnographic evidence was of bone and antler wedges used for splitting wood. I know that functional wedges existed. the analyst’s accuracy rate was only 51. wedges. but is considerably more difficult when assessing mixed collections flake by flake. These considerations suggested that in eastern North America all items classified as pieces esquillees or wedges were really bipolar cores. but so did bipolar cores. (1995) attempted to ascertain the existence of a bipolar technology not through core forms but through debris.

OSL has proven to be a viable alternative. He found that optical characteristics of thermal alteration such as reddening. New methods have been applied to materials other than chert. Working in iron-rich deposits in Thunder Bay. Ontario. These are particularly troublesome for interpretation if they show no visible evidence of having been burned. magnetic susceptibility. Dunnell et al.. changes in susceptibility versus SIRM are dramatic. The development of methods to do so has continued into this decade.296 Odell Heat Treatment Ever since the 1960s. concluding that it would be best to employ more than one technique to resolve this problem. that is. they have been attempting to ascertain whether or not specific collections evince this technology. A basic question concerning the heat treatment of chert is why it works. 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. They found the SEM unreliable and paleomagnetism sporadic in its effectiveness. suggesting that these indices could be used to identify incendiary features that were reused frequently. Rapp et al. that is. For instance. enabling them to determine the possibility of prehistoric heat alteration. They found that. Rowney and White (1997) tested the possible heat alteration of silcrete with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and paleomagnetism. were able to detect heat alteration. New methods have also been applied to those ubiquitous broken stones that everybody suspects are present because of their thermal conductivity. but were heated when recycled into something else. these researchers tried magnetic methods of discrimination—that is. 1998). using electron spin resonance. (1993). they established that the hoes into which these tough cherts were made were rarely thermally altered when used as hoes. saturation isothermal remnant magnetization (SIRM). when modern scholars realized that heating silicates under certain conditions enhanced their knappability. 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. as illustrated in Borradaile et al. (1994). (1999) established good agreement between the two techniques and although the authors are favorably inclined toward TL. cracking. Applying their technique to Dover and Mill Creek cherts. but that change depended on the type of raw . and spalling all increased with reheating. with heat. working with less ferruginous cherts in the American Midwest. sourcing (Borradaile et al. The effects of reheating FCRs were studied by Pagoulatos (1992). and natural remnant magnetization (NRM). These researchers have since attempted to expand rockmagnetic techniques to characterizing the materials themselves. firecracked rocks (FCRs). That is. though with mixed results. The advantage of OSL is that it is a lot cheaper.

However. at least. inexorable forces of modern life have curtailed most of the hunting activities that traditionally sustained less technologically advanced cultural groups. The most popular among these. is the projectile point. Although admittedly subjective. Young’s modulus of elasticity showed a consistent increase with heat (the rock became stiffer and easier to flake). the most likely explanation for the effect on knapping quality is the recrystallization of siliceous material. Kenya. at least on this side of the Atlantic. 1999) of flakes manufactured by seven right-handed students resulted in only 60% of the flakes being judged as “right-handed. according to him.and left-handed knappers as they rotated the core in different directions. a pretty close agreement with the proportion of left-handed people in modern populations. raw material shape and individual knapping style were more important considerations than the way the core was rotated. 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. McCutcheon and Kuener (1997) affirmed a decrease in toughness and weight loss with heat.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 297 material. Handedness Only a few short studies of prehistoric handedness have been undertaken recently. However. SPECIFIC TOOL TYPES Projectile Points Some artifacts are so instructive that they deserve to be discussed separately. were produced differentially by right. Pobiner’s study (Pobiner. thus diminishing opportunities for ethnographic study. Phillipson (1997) tested the “fit” of 54 of them in the hand.” following Toth’s criteria. With respect to the former. Using wavelength dispersive spectroscopy and SEM. Among these tool makers. three ethnographic . 1985) of patterns of cortex on flakes that. In their opinion. A more specific study tested Toth’s investigation (Toth. 11% of them were considered made for left-handed use. and the fracture toughness decreased. which results in reduced crystal size. Ethnography and Experimentation Studies of projectile weaponry have benefited from two common means of deriving information: ethnography and experimentation. As part of a larger investigation of Acheulian handaxes from Kariandusi.

because stone. Likewise. for example. type of arrow is largely dependent on the type of hunting and the eventual target anticipated.). traps. illustrates tremendous variability of arrow size and shape. etc. like those of the other ethnographers discussed. industrialized societies. Ahler (1992) found significantly more impact fractures on notched than . Ellis’ findings. as archaeologists frequently do. Analyzing the activities in which one individual’s toolkit was employed on each of 20 hunting trips. An entire subliterature has grown up around spear and spearthrower performance. Implements such as knives and machetes. writhing target. Finally. In these cultures. the tool used for the greatest number of different activities was the bow (employed for digging. were more specialized among the Pume. 1997) of arrow design among three groups of Agta in the Philippines. he found that the quantity of tools taken on a trip did not correlate with distance traveled. experimentation has also played an important role. These studies do not get hung up on the projectile tip. Hutchings and Bruchert (1997). Rather. causing a more lethal wound. which are considered multifunctional in our western. which he attributed to a gradual transition from dart to bow-and-arrow weaponry. One of these. Use of Different Point Types Prehistoric lithic projectile point types have traditionally been conceived as discrete entities. 1997) of the ethnographic literature uncovered little support for the differential use of stone points for any specific type of game. But. Greaves (1997) studied multifunctionality of hunting equipment among the Pume of southwestern Venezuela. slings. are crucial for interpretation. continuous metric reduction through time occurred in haft attributes on Woodland points in the American Bottom. being brittle. For instance. stone-tipped projectiles were used exclusively on large game. to which recent contributions include articles by Rozoy (1992). The functional significance of attributes on a projectile point is not always intuitively obvious. In addition. smaller game was taken with throwing sticks.298 Odell accounts of hunting practices have recently been published in Knecht’s Projectile Technology (Knecht. Griffin’s investigation (Griffin. Among Plains Village arrowheads. snares. 1997c). often breaks within a moving. stone arrowheads were employed extensively in warfare. poking. Ellis’ survey (Ellis. etc. Consider notches. because they emphasize the multifaceted aspect of culture and force us to examine our conventions and prejudices. like the geographic clinal variation in fluted points discussed previously (Morrow and Morrow. Shott (1996a) demonstrated that several point attributes vary in continuous fashion. arriving at some surprising conclusions. As a source for information and method of examining our conventions. 1999). but involve the entire delivery system. followed by the arrow. Even more surprisingly. and Baugh (1998).

Perhaps just as significantly. therefore. has recently been engaged in applying this finding to Middle Paleolithic hunting strategies. 1998). then what were the unnotched ones used for? I have fantasized that Indians pinned them on their walls in the configuration of a cowboy. 1995. dangerous mammals in marginal zones such as the steppic interior of the Levant. these objects should more accurately be classified as convergent scrapers than as points. or cultural affiliation. but none attributable to projectile use. maintains that Levallois points were indeed used to tip projectiles. he did not find a dominance of proximal ends on habitation sites).Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 299 on unnotched points. with data from replication experiments and American Paleoindian assemblages. On one side of the issue is Holdaway (1989). hafting. 1993). Christensen (1997) investigated the same issue through historic arrow wounds and Great Basin historical collections. and concluded that there was no significant difference between notched and unnotched arrowheads in function. who. His research suggests that Levallois points were part of a toolkit that emphasized reliability because it was employed in hunting large. Meanwhile. If one considers the notch to have been the last stage. argued that these objects were not employed as projectiles. The other camp.. Plisson and Beyries (1998) have supported this position.) Indeed. Shea. More specifically. suggesting that notched ones were employed more often in hunting. 1999). more wooded. being consistently used for anything else but as arrowheads. type of animals hunted. Arguing from a use–wear perspective. 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. then these points were used to tip arrows in both notched and unnotched stages. (This is more than just a facetious comment. as I have never seen these Plains arrowheads. led by John Shea. 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. their analysis of Levallois points from two sites in the Levant revealed multiple traces of use–wear on the points. whose earlier use–wear work documented projectile use for these kinds of points (summarized in Shea. temporal change. breakage patterns of Mousterian points did not conform to those of his dataset (notably. whereas modern Homo sapiens had less need for them in the richer. a debate over the function of Levallois points has been raging. 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 . northern and coastal areas (Shea. But if that is the case. notched or unnotched. Ahler’s study recorded impact fractures on points at various stages of manufacture.

or an arrow— more likely the latter. Pokines (1998) reported similar results. depending on the region. Thomas (1978) conducted a study of hafted arrows and darts found in museums in the United States. p. 1993). are tougher. The point achieved deep penetration and was either a dart projected by a spearthrower. a “late-comer” camp interprets the situation from formal projectile points. Substantial effort has been expended in North America in discriminating spear/dart from arrow points.D. or antler. 1993). Subsequently. 700. The chronology of weapons development has frequently occasioned lively debate. making it one of the earliest such points known. Several authors have concluded that the atlatl/dart and bow-and-arrow systems coexisted for a long time (Bradbury. Several years ago. 226). Hughes (1998) interpreted the process in evolutionary terms. from which he derived a function for the classification of individual projectile points discovered without their hafts. but it underlay the final Gravettian layer at the site. though the inception of the bow and arrow in the New World is hotly contested. judging from its size and form. 1996. bone. Shott (1993. and it is certainly tempting to make connections between temporally contiguous weapons systems. Recent advocates of this position are Blitz (1988).with antler-tipped points shot experimentally into a dead goat and a cow. 1998. On the other hand.. 1997) added to Thomas’ hafted dart sample and tested it on Late Woodland nonhafted samples. Seeman (1992).g. though an interesting find in Europe may have some bearing on the subject. Now some scholars are beginning to emphasize these differences. A broken (probably microlithic) point was discovered in the right ilium of an adult female hominid from Grotta di San Teodoro 4. Comparing stone. 1997. even stating that the arrow was a miniaturization of the dart. Spear versus Bow-and-Arrow Comparisons In many parts of the world.D. Shott (1997) found shoulder width to be the most discriminating variable.300 Odell with stone but with wood. 1997a. I am not aware of much recent debate in the Old World. and have the ability to penetrate deeply into long bones without sustaining damage. The other. Italy (Bachechi et al. Shott. Peterkin. Knecht (1997b) computed that antler points are 30% more flexible than stone. Farmer (1994) saw a direct progression. Bradbury (1997) refined the classification function. stone tips damage more tissue than antler tips do and constitute more lethal weapons—pretty sound reasons for the durability of their appeal. Except for synopses of the general situation (e. 1997). weaponry progressed from spear to dart to arrow. Knecht. 100 and A. though Fawcett (1998) had good luck with neck width for points from southern Idaho. As I have explained elsewhere (Odell. Like Thomas. specifically that antler points are more durable than stone and have longer use-lives.. which entered the prehistoric record sometime between A. Fawcett. Dating is a bit tenuous. and Shott (1993). .

Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 301 “early bird. At the moment. but existed as unmodified flakes and simple unifacially retouched tools. Across the Atlantic. nor do they cite any of these people in their article. Patterson. He concluded that most points with wear did not have impact damage. Several researchers have now reported observing impact damage on projectile points from archaeological sites. and many of those that possessed wear were woodworking tools. Ballenger (1999) compared breakage patterns on Late Paleoindian Plainview and FrederickAllen type points from Southern Plains sites. Caspar and DeBie (1996) found that 28% of the laterally modified Federmesser points from the late Upper Paleolithic site of Rekem had impact damage. 1997. Other analysts have documented the use of formal points in ways other than as projectiles. Nassaney and Pyle. Utilization Dockall (1997) has summarized the types of damage that can be expected from projectile usage. Although the authors are certainly correct in attacking the prevailing typological approach to projectile point variation. among Mesolithic microliths from Gleann Mor in the Southern Hebrides. 1936). “Early bird” partisans (Bradbury. that is. In the Old World. though larger pieces appeared to have been butchering tools. Broglio et al. an experience becoming more common among functional analysts. Odell. (1993) compared Epigravettian shouldered points with impact damage from two settlements in Italy. If and when that happens.. Clark. not projectiles.” camp entertains the possibility that the earliest arrowheads had not been standardized into formal shapes. 1992) push the date for the earliest bow and arrows on the North American continent back to the Late Archaic. The authors reported that spatial analysis conducted with functional types was substantially more informative than similar analyses conducted with standard formal types. 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.g.C. . Kimball (1994) found a multiplicity of wear types on Late Archaic points from a Pennsylvania site. Finlayson and Mithen (1997) reported that. Geneste and Plisson (1993) conducted a use–wear analysis of Solutrean shouldered points from Combe Sauniere and related French assemblages.. And in Belgium. Shen (1995) observed an even greater disjuncture from a large sample of points taken from three sites of the Princess Point Complex of Ontario. 1999. their results neither jibe with other functional studies of microliths of which I am aware (e. For instance. some attention has been paid to Upper Paleolithic shouldered points. a projectile function may not even have been very important. 1978) or other considered opinions on the matter by knowledgeable prehistorians (e. the debate will shift to developmental and diffusionist issues. 1988. Odell. It appeared that these points were used first as projectile tips. For example. then as butchering tools. 2000 B. For instance.g.

suggesting that the three hunting groups had traveled different routes to arrive at this place. A similar model was employed at the Cooper bison kill in Oklahoma by Bement (1999). such as postulating that an abundance of heat-treated. The argument is provocative. diagnostic artifacts like Folsom points. If this were the case. Folsom tools associated with the kills were at very different stages of retooling. In the model. assemblages from human groups that have recently visited a quarry will contain a preponderance of classic. In this model.302 Odell 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. providing a duller edge so as not to sever its binding. earlier . metrics. that is. whereas assemblages from Indians who have been through a number of kill and processing events since visiting a quarry will contain a dominance of unfluted. who reported three kills in different years but in the same season. Assemblage variability has been an issue for all prehistoric periods. if not very compelling. 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. bifacially fluted Folsom points. heat treatment. that is. and it now appears that this technology began in the Middle Paleolithic (MP). because during this season artifacts are in closer proximity to fires than they are during other seasons. raw material. to remove small irregularities that might otherwise cause basal fracture. Edge grinding on these tools is a diagnostic characteristic. but especially so for makers of nicely made. percentages of finished and unfinished points. resulting in behaviorally oriented studies. Seeman et al. Hofman (1992b) created an interesting use/discard model. Some of their assumptions are speculative. Prismatic Blades Old World Studies The development of blade technologies has long been a topic of interest. 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 find so fascinating. To explain variations in mode and condition of Folsom points from different sites. (1994) attempted to define Early Paleoindian site types by using variables related to projectile points. finished fluted points indicates a cold-season occupation. for example. it is the number of retooling events rather than distance from source of raw material that directly influences the appearance of a Folsom assemblage. but this attribute is not totally explainable with respect to the most popular explanation for the phenomenon. In one of these. heavily reworked points.

at nearby Pulltrouser Swamp. 1993).. There is evidence that the lame a ete technique.g. similar to metal blades in use today by Bulgarian furriers. Early preceramic macroblade industries. suggesting that disparities in failure rate were caused by differences in the availability of raw material. who have provided a good synopsis of blade techniques practiced at the late Upper Paleolithic encampment of Pincevent. Bleed (1996) has compared two microblade knapping techniques from late Paleolithic Japan. New World Studies Blade industries from Central America have been recognized for a long time. Further east in the Lesser Antilles. 1993. Although it is difficult to derive chronological regularities from the occurrence of various types of laminar industries (Revillion. to an MP pointed Levallois. which the author tried to replicate experimentally. thin blades appeared suddenly in the Chalcolithic period of Bulgaria.C. an industry that has been dated to 1300–1000 B. an Archaic blade industry has been recognized on the island of Antigua. Belize. there exists some support for a development from an MP tortoise Levallois. 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). and constricted unifaces. experimentation with a holding device for pressure-flaking blades. for taking the first blade off a rounded nodule. (1991). In . to an Upper Paleolithic (UP) bidirectional pointed ` crˆ Levallois blade technique. Quintero and Wilke (1995) have investigated the development of Prepottery Neolithic B naviform blade cores from earlier triangular and occasionally opposed-platform cores. a society based increasingly on intensive agricultural systems created a demand for regularly shaped blades for use in sickles and weapons. Through judicious use of experimentation and folk ethnography.. Research on later blade technologies from all over the world has also continued apace. flakes. 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. And working with blade industries located further east. In the Near East. 1998). And Skakun (1993b) has attempted to clarify why a new industry of long. though the antiquity of this industry has only recently been established. she established that one of these blades would be placed in the middle of a curved wooden handle and used for scraping hides. accompanied by massive cores. have now been discovered in off-mound strata from Colha. Vishnyatsky. These blades possessed very rounded edges. has been known since the MP and may be associated with the manufacture of convergent flake points (Demikendo and Usik. allowed Wilke (1996) to replicate northwest Iranian-type bullet-shaped cores. France. During this period. 1995). Examples include Ploux et al.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 303 than our traditional textbooks would lead us to believe (e. 1994). consisting of slotted blocks of bone. Ameloot-van der Heijden.

nor any one specific factor that could explain the appearance of them all. Holley (1995) deemphasized this aspect because areas of the site excavated so far are more accurately considered as workshops than as microdrill factories. Another use–wear analysis of a similar Hopewell camp. and future research may establish even greater antiquity for them. He recognized neither direct historical connections among these industries. and he found no evidence for craft specialization. For example. In the New World. Clark (1997) also employed technological variables. Mexico.. blades became smaller and more fragmentary. Yerkes (1994) performed a use–wear analysis of prismatic blades from a small Hopewell encampment. 1993). Clovis blade technologies have never been studied very intensely. wear became more pronounced. In Ohio. Blades were employed for a variety of tasks. notably in Belize (Awe and Healy. 1992). 1991). He used this background to describe a unique cache of 14 blades recently recovered from a plowed field in northeastern Texas.304 Odell an assemblage lacking formal tools. Taking a look at New World blade technologies in general. 1998). He established that better knappers existed at Kaminaljuy´ u. Although he saw a trend toward craft specialization. Although this may appear to have been a specialized craft. Parry (1994) discussed nine blade industries that existed at various intervals in the North and Central American prehistoric sequence. but this failing has now been rectified by Collins (1999). Through time. also in Ohio (Lemons and Church. Such a situation was detected in the blade industry from four subphases of a Middle preclassic Guatemala settlement. and use of a bipolar technique for rejuvenating lateral edges increased (Nance and Kirk. 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. but part-time craft specialization in obsidian blade production probably occurred at this village. inducing various forms of economizing behavior. blades were manufactured by Late Pleistocene Clovis peoples. In some regions. who has produced a comprehensive description of Clovis blade technology. 1994) and the Gulf Coast of Mexico (Stark et al. came to the same conclusion. and other parameters to establish the level of craftsmanship and quantity of blade production at the site. Improving the study of blade technologies through replicative experimentation has been a focus for Clark and Bryant (1997). starting in the early Middle Formative and progressing through the Classic period. 45% of the Mississippian microdrills used in bead manufacture at Cahokia were made on blade blanks. who proposed a technological typology of blades and blade refuse for the area around Chiapas. these industries were affected by an eventual shortage of obsidian. These findings are consistent with . this point is disputed for many of the industries discussed. Recent technological research in Mesoamerica has emphasized the development of blade from flake industries. A large portion of North American blade research has concentrated on Middle Woodland cultures of the American Midwest. knapping errors. the best way to understand prehistoric cultures through stone tools is not through typologies but through technology (Davis.

but concluded that processing in a wooden mortar was superior to use of the quern in almost every respect. Thus. In these specialized contexts. France. as might have been practiced in the Early Neolithic of the Rhineland. These experiments have allowed researchers to identify differences in use–wear between tools used close to the ground. as might have been practiced in the Near Eastern or European Neolithic (e. In the Middle Woodland of Illinois. when found outside this context. the authors established that hand picking was just as efficient as reaping—even more efficient on sandy soils with grains in low-density stands. Jordan. which produce many striations. For our purposes. 1993). this time through ethnographic observations of Bedul Bedouin living near Petra. they were used for a large variety of activities just as flakes were. blades were employed in specific ceremonial activities associated with burial. then. and those that sliced the stalk at some distance up from the roots (Anderson. it follows that the presence of sickles on an archaeological site indicates agricultural intensification. Experimental cereal growing and cutting programs have been initiated in Great Britain. He compared this base camp with two nearby components at the Napoleon Hollow site that were directly associated with mortuary activities. 1992a). Russia. because the vagaries of preservation play such an important role in our perceptions. 1992b) provides insight into recent experimentation in several aspects of farming. finding a large proportion of . even though an artifact such as the quern may have been present in a particular culture’s material repertoire. Most other recent studies of prehistoric agriculture have employed tools primarily to investigate use–wear on those parts that contact a worked material. not initial cultivation. Comparing these times with figures for harvesting grain with stone and metal sickles. one of the more interesting studies concerned the most efficient manner of dehusking glume wheats. though sickles had an advantage in dense soils with dense stands of wheat. most involved reaping grain with sickles. where Odell (1994) found a multiplicity of activities represented in the blades at the Smiling Dan Hopewell habitation in Illinois. Simms and Russell (1997) timed people picking grain by hand. Another recent study investigated different methods of reaping cereals. including biological. Korobkova. Of these. or even the most popular.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 305 use–wear studies conducted further west. blade usage was very specifically oriented toward scraping hides and cutting soft materials. thus.. and other European countries. Agricultural Tools Anderson’s Pr´ ehistoire de l’agriculture (Anderson. it was not necessarily the most efficient method.g. Unger-Hamilton (1992) found that domestic cereals are most efficiently cut close to the ground. From these considerations. Meurers-Balke and Luning (1992) found that such wheats can be dehusked on Linearbandkeramik saddle querns.

Some never did. and carrots. has been the subject of several recent studies. The most efficient sickle blades for grain are not retouched. And wear on the end of sickle blades. jicama. is different from that in the middle. and Turkey (Ataman. or antler and were given the names “compass gravers” and . She concluded that most roots needed to be processed for 2 h or more to produce interpretable use–wear. These authors agree that edges are typically characterized by severe rounding and well-developed plant polish. van Gijn (1992) concluded that these were sod-cutting tools employed for house construction in a landscape with few trees. but the extreme rounding of their edges have made them too blunt to effectively cut plant stems. 1998). many of which do not require stone tools for processing. Miscellaneous Chipped Stone Tool Types Archaeologists these days are less likely than they used to be to accept typological classifications at face value. This process has resulted in a reevaluation of several regional types. bone. Bulgaria (Skakun. Microscopic observations of the graving spurs demonstrated different kinds of wear on the projections. which contacts the plant stems (Clemente and Gibaja. A case in point is a type of graver possessing two or three projections. these implements were employed for scribing circles in wood. the threshing sledge. The flint teeth inserted in the bottom of these wooden boards. which are likely to show up in archaeological assemblages.306 Odell sickle blades impacted by soil particles would imply the reaping of domesticated grain. whereas serrated edges are best for harvesting the tough stems of reeds and sedges. Sievert (1992) conducted several experiments with tubers such as manioc. but a healthy skepticism currently prevails. 1992). In other words. providing considerable insight into the people who made these tools. Threshing sledges (also called doukani or tribuli) have been in use until the mid-20th century in countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Seas. 1992a). potatoes. 1992). and striations parallel to the edge. One concerns crescent-shaped Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age flint tools that have traditionally been classified as sickles because of the gloss on them. which would have been easier to gather using stone tools than by uprooting the plants (Anderson. of course. found on sites in Ontario (Tomenchuk and Storck. Two other use–wear studies are relevant to research on agricultural equipment. Another agricultural tool. 1996). Having conducted a series of replicative experiments on a variety of substances. often in functional terms. 1997). which contacts the soil. Such implements have been discovered in marshy areas of the Netherlands. The other study involved the processing of roots and tubers. have been objects of use–wear research in Cyprus (Kardulias and Yerkes. edge damage. suggesting that the user rotated the tool on one spur and dragged the other.

1995). And analysis of a Belgian Neolithic settlement established that scrapers at this locale were not used on hides at all. but this had never been substantiated until Gaertner’s study (Gaertner. any other definition misses the point of what technological classification is all about. and (2) the burin is a typo–technological type and. the historic Chickasaw employed thumbnail scrapers for processing hides in the bison trade with the English. expediently employed tools. In Central America. Finally. should never be regarded on face value as a “graving tool” unless specifically established through appropriate analytical techniques. Another study involving burins compared them to laterally retouched blades from the Federmesser site of Rekem. the opposite edge having been under a hafting device (Clark. 1996). the Maya grass axe or corn sickle was an elongated biface depicted in the Dresden Codex. whereas the form of laterally retouched blades was conditioned by their hafting and eventual use predominantly as projectile points. the Belgian “frits” has proven . Universally stained with red ochre. burins are seen as flexible. has also come under scrutiny. use–wear analysis established that the scraper and ochre were employed not in the tanning process but later. has been found in Epipaleolithic and Mesolithic levels of at least one Andorran site. Another pointed tool. and some of the authors’ other arguments are rather contrived. If this was the case. Belgium (De Bie and Caspar. the microscraper. the burin. 1993). in any case. 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.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 307 “coring gravers.” More conventional drilling was conducted by inhabitants of a Mississippi site belonging to the Poverty Point culture to make slate beads. My reactions to this thesis are twofold: (1) macroscopic analysis is pretty weak support for any functional inference. Recent work on scrapers has also illuminated aspects of the cultural groups in which these tools were used. but they do so with a decidedly vapid methodology. 1997). but as adzes on wood (Caspar and Burnez-Lanotte. (1996) recorded technological variables and macroscopically observed the edges of burins from three Middle Eastern sites. then archaeologists should not regard them as graving tools. The burin is defined by the characteristic of a blow delivered at right angles to the plane of the piece or to a specific edge. 1993). for preparing dry or tanned skin (Philibert. For instance. the Early Archaic Dalton adze has long been considered a woodworking tool. Johnson (1997) has demonstrated that this tool formed the basis of a very consistent and regularized toolkit. Another diminutive scraper type. several kinds of edge tools from very different contexts have been distinguished by the differential wear on them. Barton et al. Further north. during this period the spread of this artifact is related to the migration of bison into the upper Midwest. concluding that burins were multifunctional tools. For this cultural group. In Europe. 1994). It usually has sickle sheen on one edge only. but it was done using quartz crystals as drill tips (Johnson.

Discrimination of corn. Thick. Testing differences between basin. Instead of making and examining a finished ground stone product. they possess a double polish: one side. A manual for technological analyses of ground stone has been produced by Adams (1997). though the exact way the hides were scraped remains uncertain (Sliva and Keeley. Wilke and Quintero (1996) wished to understand Near Eastern millstones through models derived from the American Southwest. they formulated a technological sequence that they can apply to the Near Eastern situation. and vegetative dispersal. to which end they replicated pestles in andesite first by flaking and then by pecking. it is no wonder that most of them have been classified as pi` eces esquill´ ees. the other. In a preliminary experiment. trough. Osborne (1998) replicated the manufacture of a mortar. pecking a sizeable concavity in a granitic slab in 8 h. 1994). Their investigation resulted in a series of blind tests that were successful in most cases. From data transcribed at each stage in the process. bright. Exhibiting splintering. and macroflaking on multiple edges. who replicated the trough metate and two-hand mano of a typical Pueblo I hamlet. Recording tool stone loss.308 Odell difficult to understand. from which they concluded that debris can be used to distinguish these two activities. and flat metates. length of time spent. orange peel-like blades. Function A suite of use–wear experiments on grinding tools was performed by Adams (1989) with the help of Earthwatch volunteers. 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. she calculated rates of wear. bone. Other experiments have been performed to register grinding efficiency. Finally. Runnels (1994) investigated historic tinderflints. They were probably employed in scraping hides. wood. Grinding and Pounding Tools Manufacture Several studies have contributed to understanding the production of grinding tools. In another experiment. matte and rough. which can be translated into estimates of tool use-life. crushing. and shell grinding was not absolute. Adams (1993) concluded . Experimentation was continued by Wright (1993). but these assays lent hope that some differentiation would eventually be possible. Pritchard-Parker and Torres (1998) approached the issue from a different perspective.

the expected pattern that the permanent sites would contain thinner and more expended grinding tools was not supported. while inducing more user fatigue.C. metates of nonlocal material were invariably smaller and had a much higher intensity of use. 1999).Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 309 that grinding efficiency is related to grinding surface area and user fatigue. for which larger grinding tools enabled a quicker and more efficient processing of maize. in the American Southwest. In addition. the one-hand mano was replaced by the two-hand mano. A large portion of this research has examined relationships between grinding equipment and specific foodstuffs. Grinding technology is seen as a response to pressures of growing population and reduced territory. Nelson and Lippmeier (1993) have demonstrated a contrast between permanent-use sites with architecture and fortuitously (intermittently) occupied sites. Historically. For example. though the timing of the transition to maize agriculture varied from region to region. Surprisingly. These considerations suggest that the efficiency model for grinding equipment in the American Southwest should be reexamined to include raw material availability. Hard et al. In one such study. In the Hohokam region. Testing this model. and manos are longer and more standardized. For example. calculating degrees of maize dependence from macrobotanical and coprolite remains and stable carbon isotopes. was actually the most efficient grinding tool (Adams. which contain greater surface area and cause less user fatigue than other designs do. research into grinding implements has been pursued along similar lines. in Natufian sites of the Near East. became decidedly . For dry grinding. whereas trough or slab metates and long manos were used for corn. additional experiments suggested that seeds or grains were probably ground into flour while dry because the results spoiled rapidly when ground wet. in which wild cereals. Wright (1994) has demonstrated an association between the presence of grinding tools and camps where seeds were heavily consumed. corngrinding metates tended to be trough shaped and made of a vesicular material. Nonlocal manos were more formally shaped and smaller. Stone (1994) found that it does not adequately account for the availability of the raw material used to manufacture the implements. she noted that a need for greater grinding intensity in Puebloan societies stimulated development toward flat metates. suggesting that modification and use intensity are not sensitive indicators of site permanence. in southern Arizona. metates are often shaped. In other areas of the world. the operative functional model for grinding tools is that basin metates and small manos were utilized primarily for seed grinding. Correlating these with average mano grinding surface area suggested substantial maize dependence by 500 B. At architectural sites. However. (1996) tested this relationship further. a sort of low-order junk food during times of abundance. the trough metate. This was interpreted as a result of a dietary dependence on maize and its accompanying sedentary lifestyle. grinding tools are made from more durable materials. but because of transport costs. Morris (1990) noted that.

a process that constantly changed their form and lent formal variability to the entire tool class. Attenbrow et al. in which lowerranked resources such as seeds supplanted declining higher-ranked resources such as megafauna (Fullagar and Field. Kamp’s recent experiments (Kamp. it has also been associated with environmental stress (aridity). 1995) in working wood. Fracture Mechanics and Technology Experimental research into the fracture mechanics of brittle solids has affirmed the importance of the concept of flake mass. in the New World. with such objects have concluded that the most probable task in which they were engaged was in smoothing the surfaces of clay pots. they were utilized and sharpened continuously until exhausted. (1998) have investigated the sandstone files used to fabricate aboriginal Australian shell fishhooks. though experimentally justifiable. He found that. removing corn kernels. 1997). Likewise. The good news is that the most important variables can be measured directly on flakes. grinding technologies are by no means limited to this functional group. Recently. And Mackie (1995) has analyzed ground stone celts from the Northwest Coast of North America. . More work needs to be done to bring the pure experimental data in line with real-world situations. The bad news is that dropping steel balls on glass with an undifferentiated dorsal surface. Technological analysis of whole assemblages has been a backbone of lithic analysis for years. being extremely laborious to manufacture but highly durable. In Australia. and so forth. where grinding technology goes back 30. Another type of American Southwestern implement whose dominant function has elicited interest is the cylindrical basalt tool.310 Odell more attractive. and of platform thickness and exterior platform angle. as major contributors to flake variability. in the Old World. considerable energy has been expended on the lithic technology of the Middle Paleolithic. Although most archaeological studies of this type of implement have concerned slab and basin abrasion. does not tell us all we need to know about flakes in the real world. I summarize the principal directions this research has taken.000 years. 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. and of Folsom peoples. Research into other periods of prehistory has been more sporadic but is needed to achieve a thorough understanding of technological development in different regions.

lipping of the ventral surface just under the striking platform is produced exclusively through soft-hammer percussion. except on a case-by-case basis. particularly in the Americas. For this question. Piece refitting has attained almost as much popularity in North America as it has in Europe. replicative flintknapping has remained a useful way to gain insight into the nature of lithic assemblages. Given its ease of application. than with . but its lack of discriminating power for most other questions. Despite some promise. retouch. in the future. Heat alteration of iron-rich silicates has been investigated through magnetic techniques. and other morpho–technological variables may be accomplished with the aid of image digitizers. alternative to thermoluminescence. discrimination of shape. and cheaper. The internal change that occurs during the heating of silicates constitutes a subject of continuing controversy. and in no case is this more true. analysts should use this technique in conjunction with others.Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 311 Among techniques commonly employed. The controversy over whether the pieces designated as wedges and pi` eces esquill´ ees in archaeological collections are really bipolar cores is currently unresolvable. but difficult for individual pieces from mixed assemblages. but it is recommended that they use at least one other analytical system along with it. A good discriminating variable for flakes with extant striking platforms is platform facet count and for flakes without platforms is dorsal facet count. the optically stimulated luminescence technique has been shown to be a viable. but the question of whether or not recrystallization occurs is currently being debated. the question of whether or not they have ever been heated is often an important issue. More people than ever have been recognizing bipolar reduction in their assemblages and interpreting those assemblages in light of its ramifications. Most tests of this system have affirmed its utility for questions involving breakage. Blind tests have revealed that distinguishing bipolar reduction is easy for pure assemblages. Minimum analytical nodule analysis has been proposed as an alternative to conjoining analysis for assemblages in which the refitting of individual pieces is difficult. Also. Meanwhile. It is possible that. The application of heat decreases a rock’s toughness and increases Young’s modulus of elasticity. For nonsilicate heat-conducting stones (fire-cracked rocks). many analysts will continue to use it. debitage studies are still working their way through the Sullivan– Rozen typology. but many soft-hammer flakes do not show this characteristic. Other debitage studies have shown that cortex is not a very good indicator of reduction stage. postdepositional artifact movement. Individual Tool Types Specific tool forms have provided fertile ground for spurring productive research. providing information on such issues as the integrity of occupation surfaces. and retooling.

often through experimental methods. Now that more and more lithic analyses in Europe and the Near East have extended blade technologies well into the Middle Paleolithic. Late Archaic)? For answers. After a long period of quiescence. microscrapers. when found in everyday habitation context. Even well into the 1990s. 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. The effectiveness of stone projectile tips has been compared with points of bone and antler. they were employed just like flakes in a variety of tasks. Use–wear studies on points throughout the world have revealed tremendous variability. blades appear to have possessed highly specialized uses when associated with mortuary contexts. tune in next decade. Several debates concerning projectile points are currently raging.g. early blade industries have recently been discovered in Central America and the Caribbean. In other words. and are usually more effective killing devices. whereas stone tips often break inside the body of the prey. In the New World. grinding efficiency. Also notable have been studies into the functions and contexts of thumb scrapers. Results show that organic tips penetrate better and are more durable. A considerable amount of particularistic research into other specific tool types has also been conducted during the past decade. and maize dependency. the connotation of incipient modernization applied to blade technologies must be rethought. some collections contain a preponderance of impact damage signifying utilization in a projectile mode. these objects were perceived differently by the people who made and used them. destroy more tissue. the Dalton adze. but almost no impact damage. in the Middle Woodland period of the North American midcontinent. compass gravers. 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. However..312 Odell projectile points. In the Middle Paleolithic of Europe and the Near East. whether the bow and arrow entered the cultural repertoire late (e. as numerous experimental programs have inspected issues of tool use-life. whereas other collections show wear from nonprojectile activities. Agricultural implements such as sickle blades and threshing sledge inserts have benefited from large experimental programs. Including large projects such as Krzemionki in Poland and El Malagon and La .g. archaeologists have finally decided that grinding and pounding tools are worthy of investigation. What little evidence there is suggests that blades in later prehistory were not produced by a specialized class of people. and the Maya grass axe.. Middle Woodland) or early (e. this category of artifact continues to benefit from the application of ethnographic and experimental analyses. a significant question is whether or not Levallois points were really used to tip projectiles? And in North America. waste products. Raw Materials Research has continued into Neolithic and Copper Age flint mining in Europe.

but for other questions it is pretty worthless. have elucidated some of the distributive relationships between this major chert workshop and other centers in the region. northwest and southwest North America. Work has also progressed on mines for other substances such as sandstone and specular hematite. Advancement will come through making judicious decisions. steatite. but is not yet robust enough to be the sole measure of this parameter. Other studies have concentrated on changes in raw material usage over time. The .Stone Tool Research at the End of the Millennium: Procurement and Technology 313 Venta in Spain. Among the latter I would include the Sullivan–Rozen typological system. Chile. 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. Tests comparing visual with geochemical assays on the same individual pieces have demonstrated that visual methods are only about 50% accurate. Geochemical analyses of chert have progressed. For visual analyses of Illinois materials. which has now been refuted so many times that I am amazed that anybody is still paying attention. and workshops. this research involves quarries. considerations influenced by the accessibility of raw material or by sociopolitical factors. Recent sourcing of lithic raw material has involved rhyolite. The relationship of tool materials found on archaeological sites to their sources has caused gravity models to be tested under various conditions. or the stockpiling of raw materials. With respect to the distribution of raw materials on archaeological sites. Producer–consumer models of material distribution. perhaps because of the influence of mobility organization on these latter populations. and materials traveling in the Hopewell Interaction Sphere. A new sourcing technique involving magnetic susceptibility has proven helpful. mines. Most obsidian sourcing studies have employed geochemical analyses. a newly developed chert identification tree has been evaluated and proven to be quite accurate. Archaeological cases follow the model closely in some situations but not in others. The system may be helpful for a researcher who desires information on breakage patterns. Obsidian sourcing in the New World has concentrated on materials from Mesoamerica. but most effort has been put into obsidian and chert. orthoquartzite. and catlinite. Ecuador. but are not yet as frequent as with obsidian. several studies have demonstrated that specific materials were preferred for specific tool forms. particularly instrumental NAA. basalt. invoked at the Mayan village of Colha. A Parting Note Despite the prodigious amount of work that has been conducted during the past decade—or perhaps because of it—the field of lithic analysis offers several areas in which meaningful contributions would be welcome. pursuing certain promising areas while letting go of some trajectories that have proven less advantageous or that may be difficult to pursue in the future.

or a Levallois point. harvest and threshing of wild cereals and their relevance for interpreting the use of Epipaleolithic and Neolithic artefacts. (1994). and Shafer. 179–209. Adams. (1999). Experimental cultivation. S. and Enloe. P. A. Paris. (ed. International Monographs in Prehistory. (1993). Ameloot-van der Heijden. Manual for a Technological Approach to Ground Stone Analysis. (ed.. J. (1997). Adams. WI. Anderson. C. Maya Stone Tools. J. 6.). Monograpohie du CRA. And other analytical trajectories will soon be played out. Geoarchaeology 9: 375–391. 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. J. but because knappers are depleting good material at a rapid rate. MI. but so far it has been dramatically underutilized.S. J. L. and Mauldin. D. Amick. Ann Arbor. Pr´ ehistoire de l’agriculture: nouvelles approches exp´ erimentales et ethnographiques. S. pp. Likewise. We cannot hope to advance unless we achieve a greater understanding of fracture mechanics. Guatemala. In Hester. Experimental replication of the use of ground stone tools. Andrefsky. Research on debitage and ground stone will also increase. N. No.).. REFERENCES CITED Adams. Tucson. Madison. L. L. The geological occurrence of lithic material and stone tool production strategies. when it has become painfully obvious that objects in either category must be considered on a case-by-case basis? Other fields will continue to blossom as researchers reap their benefits. P. pp. Jr. L. D. Kiva 58: 331–355. C. . Folsom Lithic Technology.314 Odell role of knapping is also an area that I think will diminish—not because it should. 36–62. Anderson.). Among these I count flake experimentation and the effects of heat alteration. T. C. J. Amick. D. Raw material variation in Folsom stone tool assemblages and the division of labor in hunter-gatherer societies.). Monographie du CRA. Adams.). In Hofman. Bulletin de la Soci´ et´ e Pr´ ehistorique Franc ¸ aise 90: 324–327. R. Southwest. as this element governs how stones are made and used. Oxford. pp.. how many times can one discuss the functional import of a pi` ece esquill´ ee. (eds. H. ground or rough stone can provide crucial information on a number of questions. Prehistory Press. Kiva 54: 261–271. L’industrie laminaire du niveau CA du gisement pal´ eolithique moyen de Reincourt-les-Bapaume (Pas-de-Calais). Pr´ ehistoire de l’agriculture. No. (1999). Lithic Technology 22: 18–32. 119–141. 169–187. (1989). P. (ed. Effects of raw material on flake breakage patterns. (eds. (1992a). Use-phase classification and manufacturing technology in Plains Village arrowpoints. (1991). but for different reasons. The structure of Late Classic lithic assemblages in the Central Pet´ en Lakes region. Editions du CNRS. J. (1992). (1992b). BAR International Series 578. W. 6. In Anderson. pp. Center for Desert Archaeology. Editions du CNRS. Refocusing the role of food-grinding tools as correlates for subsistence strategies in the U. (1993). and continued exploitation will not be possible at this level. Piecing Together the Past: Applications of Refitting Studies in Archaeology. Aldenderfer. (1997). M. Toward understanding the technological development of manos and metates. the same is true for heat alteration because this variable helps to determine the nature of the substance being worked. S. American Antiquity 64: 475–498. For instance. P.. In Amick. Ahler. Paris.

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