Preparing for Life on the Move: Lithic Platform Characteristics and Forager Mobility


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Lithicists use various attributes of chipped stone tools to characterize hunter-gatherer technological organization, which is thought to be partly determined by mobility patterns of these groups; thus, lithic attributes serve as proxies for the amount and type of mobility practiced. In particular, lithic platform preparation has received attention as an important, reliable indicator of extra care taken to better utilize lithic cores for the production of stone tools. Greater preparation is indicated by increasingly complex platform types: cortical, simple (or plain), complex (or faceted/rounded), and abraded (or ground). In this study, we examine lithic assemblages from three rockshelters in southern Belize, each of which contain cultural materials dating from the Late Paleoindian/Early Archaic transition (~10,000BP) through Late Archaic (5000-2900 BP) time period. This era witnessed a transition from a foraging lifestyle to a horticultural one, and saw the first stratified societies emerge from otherwise egalitarian roots. Because mobility plays such a crucial role in these processes, a clearer picture of both can be gained by assessing the changes to mobility that accompanied them. By analyzing platform types in each assemblage, we trace changes in lithic technological organization and mobility through time over the course of a dynamic 7000-year period.

Cite this Record

Preparing for Life on the Move: Lithic Platform Characteristics and Forager Mobility. Timothy Dennehy, Chris Merriman, Keith M. Prufer. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449595)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25593