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Tool use across space in the Middle Pleistocene: Novel Techniques of Edge Damage Analysis at Elandsfontein, South Africa.

Author(s): Ella Beaudoin ; David R. Braun ; Jonathan S. Reeves

Year: 2017

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Summary

Although studies of lithic technology have been ongoing for over a century our knowledge of what tools were used for is still poorly resolved. Detailed analysis of microscopic damage has been the major focus studies of tool use. However, these studies are often limited to a subset of tools that have not undergone post-depositional damage and can be studied microscopically. Recently new approaches to damage patterns on the edges of simple flaked tools have been used to develop assemblage scale analyses of tool use in a variety of Paleolithic contexts. Here we apply these techniques to a large assemblage of stone artifacts from multiple excavations at Elandsfontein (1 Ma – 780Ka) from the Western Cape of South Africa. We incorporate experimental tool use to develop possible hypotheses about what certain patterns of damage represent. Measures of damage location, continuity, and extent provide intriguing insights into the variability in tool use patterns. Results indicate that tool use patterns are largely heterogeneous across a relatively large landscape. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-BCS- 1620907).


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Tool use across space in the Middle Pleistocene: Novel Techniques of Edge Damage Analysis at Elandsfontein, South Africa.. Ella Beaudoin, David R. Braun, Jonathan S. Reeves. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429387)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17444

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