Anthropology and Classical Studies Faculty Research

Title

Reduction Sequence and Chaine Operatoire

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2003

Abstract

National traditions of archaeological thought are a popular subject today. This essay concerns an apparent difference between interpretative concepts in two traditions of lithic analysis: the French chaîne opératoire and the American reduction sequence. To speak of French or American traditions of thought reifies the characteristic to the categorical, done to simplify not because the characterizations are accurate to the last detail. The American reduction sequence concept arose in the 1890s and matured around 1970. The French chaîne opératoire originated in the 1960s and came into common use in the 1990s. The intellectual and historical contexts of the concepts differ. Yet the two are substantially the same thing, despite the efforts especially of chaîne opératoire's advocates to claim originality.

Publication Title

Lithic Technology

Volume

28

Issue

2

First Page

95

Last Page

105