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Rebound Hardness Results for the Raw Material In and Around Pinnacle Point, South Africa and the Implications Thereof

Author(s): Christopher Shelton

Year: 2015

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Summary

The Middle Stone Age lithic assemblage at the Pinnacle Point site (Western Cape, South Africa) fluctuates between local, coarse-grained material and exotic, fine-grained, heat treated material throughout the human occupation layers. By understanding raw material choice, the first step in the chaîne opératoire, we can better understand these shifts in raw material representation. Quantifying the mechanical characteristics associated with knapability and comparing these ranked benefits to the costs of acquisition allows us to describe and compare utilized lithologies in and between sites in a reproducible and subjective manner. The Schmidt Rebound Hammer has been used in previous studies to quantify rebound hardness as a proxy for knapability of various raw materials within the gathering range of a site. The purpose of this study was to rank the relevant lithologies according to their desirability, and identify acquisition choice patterns. The research focuses on the two most prevalent raw materials from Pinnacle Point, quartzite and silcrete. This presentation reports the rebound hardness results and the implications thereof, and discusses the role of the Schmidt Rebound Hammer.

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Rebound Hardness Results for the Raw Material In and Around Pinnacle Point, South Africa and the Implications Thereof. Christopher Shelton. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396802)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America