Anthropology and Classical Studies Faculty Research

Title

Pattern and Allometric Measurement of Reduction in Experimental Folsom Bifaces

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Abstract

Many stone tools are reduced during use. Degree and pattern of reduction influence tool size and form, complicating typological assignment but allowing measurement and analysis ofcuration. We apply simple allometric reduction measures — ratios of changing length, mass or surface area to essentially constant thickness — to a set of experimental Folsom bifaces that were used at dart points and reworked and reduced during use. All measures correlate with degree of reduction from known original size; the simple ratio of length to thickness (L/T) correlates best and distinguishes between earlier and later episodes of use and reduction. Although calibrating variation in allometric reduction measures to common scales remains a challenge, ratios calculated from easily measured dimensions of archaeological tools track the amount and direction of reduction that the tools experienced. Reduction produces patterned distributions; it can be measured in retouched archaeological specimens.

Publication Title

Lithic Technology

Volume

32

Issue

2

First Page

203

Last Page

217