Thirty Years On, Considering Kelly’s 1988 "Three Sides of A Biface", and Why It Matters for Great Basin Archaeology
We argue that it is time to reconsider the use of the term biface in Great Basin archaeology and implement more heuristic terms in its place. In most instances, there is only one role or "one side of a biface" and that was to become a projectile point. It is time we recognize bifaces as such and acknowledge that preform morphology can be an indicator of temporal association and of social agents including children. Stage classification alone is limiting in terms of allowing us to broaden our understanding and interpretation of the archaeological record. We suggest projectile point preforms are useful proxies of skill and that the majority of complete preforms left in the archaeological record were terminal artifacts with so many mistakes they could not have been finished; hence they remain as complete preforms in the record. The use of refined terminology along with the implementation of the theoretical framework of the chaîne opératoire, careful technological assessments and recognition of the importance of lithic scatters gives us the opportunity to present more holistic site interpretations. These include the examination of the nurturing of children which will allow for a more comprehensive look and interpretation of ancient group composition.
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Thirty Years On, Considering Kelly’s 1988 "Three Sides of A Biface", and Why It Matters for Great Basin Archaeology. Geoffrey Cunnar, Edward Stoner. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443690)
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min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20872