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LithicAnalysis.com has a large comparative collection of lithic sample with over a thousand samples of chert, jasper, and other knappables from all regions of the USA. If we don’t have samples or experience in your area we have a large network of connections to acquire the needed reference collection for comparative analysis.

LithicAnalysis.com provides our clients with data on the numerous aspects of stone tool technology being practiced on-site. Tools, bifaces, debitage, cores and other modified stone will be classed and these data submitted in Access or Excel databases for your convenience. Statistical data manipulation is also available.

We offer these analyses:
  • typological
  • technological
  • morphological
  • mass
  • reduction stage
  • refit
  • continuum
  • microwear (low-power)
  • experimental

Typological

LithicAnalysis.com suggests typological analysis to all our clients. Morphological similarities exist and we know how to lump them or split them. We strive to answer your research questions and use manufacture technique, technological attributes, and regional data to recognize the temporal markers that may be the only artifacts available to date your site.

Technological

LithicAnalysis.com uses technological attributes of stone tools to discern the techniques used by our prehistoric ancestors to create the tools they made, used and discarded. From core technology to bifacial reduction techniques, we will examine the production method used to interpret the assemblage.

Morphological

Numerous key indicators of type, technology and use can all be sought using morphological analysis. The working edge of a tool, the symmetry and overall characteristics of a lithic artifact provide valuable insight that adds function and form data to your report.

Mass Analysis

Debitage analysis can seem like a daunting task. Using our mass analysis approach, we can size-grade flaking debris and record select attributes to create data that can illustrate lithic manufacturing trajectories. The mass analysis approach generates distribution data for an entire debitage sample.  These data can be grouped into components, loci, etc., to differentiate lithic manufacturing trajectories or activities by discrete temporal and/or spatial units.  Experimental data can also be generated to provide a more accurate comparative dataset. 

Reduction Stage / Continuum

Determining the stage or placement of an artifact in the reduction continuum can be a vital part of any archaeological report.

Refitting

The application of refit analysis can demonstrate technological, spatial, and temporal range or scope. By identifying a reduction sequence, the observed data provide a direct understanding of lithic tool production and discard. Refit analysis can reconstruct the knapping sequence and suggest, via spatial and temporal elements, how people recycled or utilized stone, their space, and bolster stratigraphic artifact relationships.

Microwear (low-power)

The pattern of edge damage along a tool’s working edge reflects its use.  This use-wear can be visible macroscopically with the aid of a lighted magnification lamp (3x) or hand lens (10x).  The macroscopic identification of use-wear is based on the presence of microflaking, or microchipping along the working edge(s) of the tool, and sometimes crushing.  Just as force directed against a striking platform causes a flake to detach during knapping, force acting along the part of a tool’s edge that comes into contact with the material it is working also causes a regular, consistent (but not necessarily continuous) pattern of very small flake detachment along the working edge.  Given the problematic nature of low-magnification use-wear study, characterization of use-wear is limited to edge characterization, edge angle, and the presence (or absence) of microflaking or crushing.  Depending on the client’s needs and budget, select tools may be outsourced for micro-wear analysis.

Experimental

We can also generate experimentally derived debitage using materials specific to your site to use as a comparative basis for the archaeological debitage analysis. Michael Miller, M.A., RPA has been knapping for over 20 years; his experimental work can be found in reference collections in all 50 states and numerous countries. He matches the science with the archeology to produce the most acurate testable samples and data.


 

Lithic Analysis Public Outreach
Experimental Archeology
Presentations
Statistical Analysis