The Recognition of Hafting Traces on Native American Stone Tools

Author(s): Larry Kimball

Year: 2017


As Keeley (1982) pointed out some time ago, the recognition of microwear traces due to hafting is an important source of information not only about how stone tools were prepared for use, but how their differential discard affects the recognition of site structure and site function. This is because the economy of different hafting arrangements and the act of "retooling" is different for hafted versus unhafted tools. In an effort to consider the variable range of hafting traces among Native American lithic technologies, a sample of over 2300 tools from Paleoamerican through Historic Cherokee industries from 40 sites in eastern North America is discussed to provide a better understand of the patterning of hafting traces. In rank order, general tool groups exhibit a variable but expected pattern of percentage of hafting traces: arrowpoints (86%), bladelets (76%), end scrapers (74%), Paleoamerican points (70%), blades (66%), Archaic and Woodland points (57%), utilized flakes (57%), retouched flakes (52%), flake tools (30-50%), drills (46%), bipolar flakes (22%), and bipolar cores or pieces esquillees (0%). It is argued that such microwear data from archaeological specimens is a useful first step to address the question of hafting, but also to guide future experimentation.

Cite this Record

The Recognition of Hafting Traces on Native American Stone Tools. Larry Kimball. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431446)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16937