Global Perspectives on Lithic Technologies in Complex Societies

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  • Documents (12)

  • Ancient Maya lithic craft specialization at Colha, Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thomas Hester. Harry J. Shafer.

    Beginning in the Middle Preclassic, the rise of small centers in the agricultural area of Northern Belize gave impetus to the intensive manufacture of stone tools at Colha. Craft specialization, mass production and export of stone tools and symbols were deeply entrenched by Late Preclassic times. Examples will be provided on the use of certain tool forms in agriculture and construction through out the region. Additionally, some artifacts were made mainly for caches, lithic symbols, and...

  • Chert at Chalcatzingo: Implications of Knapping Strategies and Technological Organization for Formative Economics (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Grant McCall. Rachel Horowitz. Dan Healan. David Grove.

    The site of Chalcatzingo, at the eastern edge of the state of Morelos, Mexico, has been an important source of information about shifting economic and social dynamics during the Formative period. Lithic analyses focusing on the site's specialized obsidian knapping have played a significant role in showing Chalcatzingo's place as a trade hub situated at the boundary between the central highlands and Gulf Coast regions. This paper reports on the site's chert lithic assemblage and presents the...

  • Determining Implications of Lithic Selectivity in the Early Historic European Trade of the Central Mississippi Valley (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Caroline Schmidt. Ryan Parish.

    Exchange between Protohistoric Period Native American and European traders in the Central Mississippi Valley reorganized the lithic industry to focus on hide processing. The most distinctive markers of this industry, thumbnail scrapers, increased as participation in the regional trade intensified and gradually led European-made goods replacing traditional tools. Although several avenues concerning the implications of thumbnail scrapers have been investigated, their raw material source remains...

  • The Importance of Being Ad Hoc: Patterns and Implications of Expedient Lithic Production in the Bronze Age in Israel (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Steven Rosen. Francesca Manclossi.

    Analysis of the ad hoc component of lithic assemblages from three Bronze Age sites in Israel shows common technological patterns without significant chronological and geographical differences. Like more formal components of lithic industries, expedient and opportunistic production of tools can be characterized using technological criteria and parameters which discern recurrent patterns in lithic manufacture. Irregular flakes, variable in shape, size, and raw material, and with only minimal...

    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jason Paling.

    From the gathering of agricultural surplus to the construction of small homes or large scale monuments, stone tools played a major role in many dimensions of everyday Formative Maya life. This presentation will examine the degree in which the production of stone tools made of chert and chalcedony were controlled by empowered political authorities or social groups at the sites of San Estevan in Northern Belize and K’o and Hamontún in the northeastern Petén region. The dynamics of the...

  • The Organization and Economic Activity Related to the Extraction and Production of Utilitarian Tools in the Mopan Valley, Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rachel Horowitz.

    A major topic of recent study about the ancient Maya is the role of elites and non-elites in the ancient Maya economy. Such studies have illustrated that different types of objects operated within varying economic modes; therefore the methods of production and distribution of diverse types of objects should be examined individually. This paper will examine the economic role of utilitarian chert tools in the Late to Terminal Classic Maya economy. This paper will utilize an examination of the...

  • A plethora of possibilities: Evaluating debitage from large habitation mounds (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Teresa Raczek.

    For the past few decades, the analysis of lithic production has incorporated an extensive consideration of debitage. While this work has been fruitful, the social and economic context of early habitation mounds presents a number of challenges to debitage analysis. Debitage can result from a number of activities beyond chipped tool production; as a result, researchers must carefully analyze broader economic and social activities in order to offset these challenges. This paper will present the...

  • Pride and Prejudice in the Maya Lowlands (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Zachary Hruby. Jason W. Barrett.

    Although they represent the foundation on which ancient Maya economies were predicated, Mayanists traditionally have ignored non-obsidian lithics in their entirety. We present an historical overview of how artifacts made of chert and related stones have been traditionally analyzed and documented in the archaeological literature of the Maya Lowlands, then examine the important contributions lithic studies have made in the past few decades. The institutionalized neglect of this material class...

  • Sourcing the Obsidian from Campanayuq Rumi: Implications for Understanding Chavín Interaction (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jason Nesbitt. Yuichi Matsumoto. Michael Glascock. Yuri Cavero. Richard Burger.

    Campanayuq Rumi is a large civic-ceremonial center located near Ayacucho in the south-central highlands of Peru. Dating to the late Initial Period (1100-800 BC) and Early Horizon (800-300 BC), Campanayuq Rumi is notable for its close association with the Chavín sphere of interaction. In particular, the site has been considered significant because of its geographical proximity to Quispisisa, the most important obsidian source during the early first millennium BC. Recent excavations at Campanayuq...

  • Stone Tool Use in Late Prehistoric and Historic Contexts in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul Kardulias.

    In part because of their lack of plasticity (compared to ceramics, for example), lithics exhibited relatively little change over long periods of time. This rigidity of form also conferred great benefits on lithics. With some modification, various stones could make extremely useful implements for cutting, scraping, drilling, incising, and abrading, grinding, or crushing various materials, even when compared to tools provided by new technologies. Indeed, both flaked and ground stone tools...

  • Unraveling Sociopolitical Organization using Lithic Data: a Case Study from an Agricultural Society in the American Southwest (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Fumiyasu Arakawa.

    Archaeologists that conduct research in agricultural societies of the American Southwest have contributed little discussions and interpretation regarding sociopolitical organization using lithic data; several negative factors may be at the root of the problem. These factors include 1) archaeologists in the American Southwest have developed a remarkable level of pottery analysis that allows for the reconstruction of some aspects of sociopolitical organization, 2) none has developed a...

  • Urban Lithics -- The role of stone tools in the Indus and at Harappa (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mary Davis.

    Lithics are one of the most common artifact classes encountered at nearly every site of the urbanized landscape of the Indus Civilization of Pakistan and Northwest India. This paper examines the lithic assemblage at the urban center of Harappa (3300-1900 BCE), one of the type-sites of the Indus, focusing on the chipped stone assemblage collected by the HARP excavations from 1986-2001. This assemblage is contextualized within the specialized production and the complex inter-regional distribution...