Anthropology and Classical Studies Faculty Research

Title

Flake Size from Platform Attributes: Predictive and Empirical Approaches

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 10-2000

Abstract

Differences between tools' original and discarded sizes bear on classification, curation and other interpretive issues in Palaeolithic archaeology. Recent experiments demonstrated significant relationships between platform size and original flake size but also generated controversy about the relative importance of empirical and theoretical platform variables in determining flake size. Depending on the nature and strength of the relationships, original size might be calculated from platform variables, often retained in discarded tools. We examine the platform–flake relationship in Pelcin's controlled data and two replicated assemblages. As Pelcin suggested, theoretical platform variables predict flake size only with stringent assumptions. Empirically, log-size regresses consistently upon log-platform size in hard-hammer but not in soft-hammer flakes. A universal relationship between variables exists in the assemblages, but only in hard-hammer flakes which, in any case, were more likely to be used as tools.

Publication Title

Journal of Archaeological Science

Volume

27

Issue

10

First Page

877

Last Page

894