ANT 003

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ANT 003
2011-12-01 16:25:26
Lithic Technology

Lecture Highlight
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  1. Lithic
    Lithic is a French term for stone- it is a surtractive technology; it entails reducing a piece of stone raw material in size and shape to make a tool that is potentially useable for some task. Reduction can be divided into two different approaches:

    • 1. chipping/flaking
    • 2. pecking/grinding
  2. Chipping Technology
    probably the oldest of the two methods. The Gona site in the Hadar region of Ethiopia has broken rocks interpreted as stone tools at 2.6 mya. These tools are known as Oldowan tools
  3. Chipped Stone Raw Material Properties:
    • - brittle
    • - homogenous structure to ensure predictability of fracture
    • - small grain structure- mocrocrystaline or cryptocrystaline (e.g., obsidian fractures to the nearest molecule)
    • - hard, to withstand use (e.g., obsidian is about 5.5 on Moh's hardness scale; Chert is 6.8)
  4. Fracture Mechanics
    • - Given the material requirements, we can predict how a rock will break
    • - If the material requirements are met, the stone will fracture conchoidally
    • waves from the force of impact move through the stone in the same way waves move through water
    • the force moves through the stone in a cone shape
  5. Ground Stone Technology
    • modifying stone w/out use of conchoidal fracture mechanics
    • 1. Percussion- pecking, polishing
    • 2. Grinding- simple grinding, sawing, drilling
  6. Chipped Stone vs. Ground Stone
    • Chipped Stone Advantages:
    • -relatively quick
    • -sharp cutting edges
    • Chipped Stone Disadvantages:
    • -limited number of shapes

    • Ground Stone Advantages:
    • -any shape of tool
    • -any type of rock
    • -often very durable
    • Ground Stone Disadvantages:
    • -very slow to manufacture
    • -working edges are not as sharp
    • -tools not as durable