Works in Stone

Contemporary Perspectives on Lithic Analysis

Whether done by Stone Age hunters or artisans in ancient civilizations, the transformation of resistant stone into useful implements required skills with a high level of sophistication. Because stone tools are durable, today we have a lithic record to explain past behavior and the evolution of culture over long spans. Interpretive and analytical approaches to the study of stone tools, however, are often treated as independent, disconnected specialties. Works in Stone provides a broad look at the field of lithic analysis by bringing together a cross section of recent research. Scholars present a diverse range of concepts and methods with case studies that extend to every continent and contexts ranging from the Paleolithic to late prehistory. Showcasing the latest research of lithic analysts, Works in Stone provides a cohesive overview of recent methods and conclusions.

Michael Shott is a professor at the University of Akron. He is the editor of two previous collections and author of three site monographs and more than 100 articles and book chapters.

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Works in Stone: Contemporary Perspectives on Lithic Analysis ~ Michael J. Shott

2. The Problems with Flake Types and the Case for Attribute Analysis of Debitage Assemblages ~ Jim A. Railey and Eric J. Gonzales

3. Timescales and Variability in Hominin Technological Strategies in the Jordan Rift Valley: What Difference Does 1.3 Million Years Make? ~ John J. Shea

4. Flake Selection, Assemblage Variability, and Technological Organization ~ Simon Holdaway, Matthew Douglass, and Rebecca Phillipps

5. Comparing Forager and Pastoralist Technological Organization in the Central Namib Desert, Western Namibia ~ Grant S. McCall and Rachel A. Horowitz

6. Hafted Woodworking Tools from an Upper Paleolithic Site in Northern China: Prehensile Wear Experiments and Archaeological Implications ~ Chen Shen, Xiaoling Zhang, Jingfang Zhao, Yanhua Song, Hong Chen, and Xing Gao

7. Toward a More Behavioral Approach: The Contribution of Wear Studies ~ Veerle Rots

8. Function and Value in Sickle Segment Analysis: Odellian Perspectives ~ Steven A. Rosen, Aaron Shugar, and Jacob Vardi

9. “There Is the Tool and the Way of Using It”: Quina Scrapers and Their Retouches ~ Sylvie Beyries and Philippe Walter

10. Dynamic Variables and the Use-Related Reduction of Southern Huron Projectile Points ~ Harry J. Lerner

11. Artifactual and Environment-Related Variations in Fuego-Patagonia (Argentina): Assessing the Role of Different Factors ~ Marcelo Cardillo, Judith Charlin, and Karen Borrazzo

12. The Evolution of Old Cordilleran Core Technology ~ Anna M. Prentiss, James C. Chatters, Randall R. Skelton, and Matthew Walsh

13. Squeezing Life from Stones: The Human Side of Replication Experiments ~ John E. Clark and James C. Woods

List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:
“The diversity of approaches provides students with the ability to become familiar with the field of lithic analysis in a broad sense, quickly. Instead of an entire book on one particular aspect of lithic analysis, which has been commonplace in the past, this volume presents the reader with a more holistic view of lithic analysis, what it can offer, questions it can address.”—Bill Schindler III, Associate Professor, Archaeology and Anthropology, Washington College, Maryland

“[The book] is significant because each individual author has brought attention to a theoretical approach or method of analysis that allows lithic analysis to make a greater contribution to social questions in archaeology, beyond issues of simple form and dating.”—Brian Kooyman, University of Calgary, Archaeology

“A sample of papers that reflects the breadth of contemporary lithic studies.”—Journal of Anthropological Research

“A powerhouse of geographical, chronological and methodological breadth.… Works in Stone reminds us that as sophisticated as research has become, there is room for new questions and novel frameworks.”—Canadian Journal of Archaeology