Faculty Publications

Title

Size and form in the analysis of flake debris: Review and recent approaches

Document Type

Article

Keywords

experimental data, flake attributes, lithic reduction, mass analysis, size variation

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

Volume

1

Issue

1

First Page

69

Last Page

110

Abstract

Flake debris - the by-product of lithic reduction - is abundant, not subject to uncontrolled collection, and sometimes culturally diagnostic. Its greatest virtue, however, is in registering the kinds and amounts of toolmaking and tool-using behavior that curated tools themselves may not. Most debris studies emphasize formal dimensions, yet even the best approaches assume rather than demonstrate a relationship between behavior and formal variation. Moreover, the diversity of formal typologies hinders interassemblage comparison. Progress in debris analysis has two prerequisites: (1) a minimum attribute set for individual flakes and (2) the combination of formal and continuous approaches to variation. Preliminary study suggests that Ahler's mass-analysis model and log skew Laplace functions hold particular promise for behavioral interpretation from debris assemblages. © 1994 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

Original Publication Date

3-1-1994

DOI of published version

10.1007/BF02229424

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