Lithic Technological Analysis

Lithic Analysis Workshop

Two-Day Workshop Dates: TBD

Course Description

Technological lithic analysis involves examining the life cycle of stone tools beginning with raw material procurement through tool manufacture, use, maintenance, recycling, and disposal. Experimental flintknapping and stone tool use have shown that these processes leave diagnostic attributes that can be used to identify specific lithic reduction strategies. Unlike other lithic analysis methods, this approach can reveal a wealth of behavioral information by examining the decisions people made in the past while making stone tools. This two-day workshop will consist of a focused immersion on a series of reduction technologies including: percussion core reduction, percussion biface reduction, percussion blade reduction, pressure reduction, and bipolar reduction. In addition, analysis of stages of reduction, as well as the tools used in the reduction processes will be examined. Participants will have opportunities to examine tools and debitage, observe the production of flakes, and learn how to apply technological analyses to archaeological assemblages.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the two-day Lithic Technological Analysis Workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize multiple reduction technologies, stages, and diagnostic debitage;
  • Differentiate between natural and human-created flakes;
  • Assess the value of different types of lithic analysis and their usefulness for providing behavioral information;
  • Distinguish use-wear patterns from non-cultural damage;
  • Distinguish heat-treated lithic material from heat-damaged artifacts;
  • Apply technological information to select samples for obsidian hydration and protein residue analyses.