Anthropology and Classical Studies Faculty Research


Stone-Tool Demography: Reduction Distributions in North American Paleoindian Tools

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2010


Stone tools “age” by reduction during use. Like individuals, each tool “ages” (is reduced) to some particular degree; like populations, sets of tools “age” (are reduced) to varying degrees expressed as reduction distributions. I fit distributions of North American Paleoindian tools to mathematical models, both for ­efficient description and to identify processes that govern discard. Reduction ­analysis is the thoughtful use of surprisingly simple measurements and practices to reveal both dimensions of past behavior and how the archaeological record formed.

Publication Title

New Perspectives on Old Stones

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