Raw Material Variability and Its Effects on Flake Production


Archaeologists have long studied the effects of raw material variation on different aspects of lithic technology, primarily focusing on raw material availability and nodule size and shape. This paper presents the results of a controlled experiment designed to compare different rock types (obsidian, flint, basalt, quartzite, and silcrete) and assess their effects on flake production. The experiment utilizes a mechanical robot that applies force to pre-shaped cores, controlling for known independent variables such as exterior platform angle, platform depth, and angle of blow. Dependent variables include linear dimensions, surface area, and weight, as well as the force required for flake removal. All of the cores have been shaped to be of similar size and shape, and all have similar core surface morphologies. In comparing these results to those obtained using molded glass cores of similar design, we discuss and evaluate the applicability of previously published controlled experiments to a wider range of raw material types.

Cite this Record

Raw Material Variability and Its Effects on Flake Production. Aylar Abdolahzadeh, George Leader, Tamara Dogandzic, Li Li, Harold Dibble. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443428)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21625