Debitage, the by-product flakes and chips from stone tool production, is the most abundant artifact type in prehistoric archaeological sites. For much of the period in which archaeology has employed scientific methodology, debitage has been discarded or ignored as debris. Now archaeologists have begun to recognize its potential to provide information about the kinds of tools produced and the characteristics of the technology being employed. Debitage can even provide clues regarding human organizational systems such as settlement mobility and site functions.
This volume brings together some of the most recent research on debitage analysis and interpretation. It presents stone tool production experiments and offers detailed archaeological investigations for interpreting variability at the individual and collective levels. Although there are a number of volumes that focus on general analysis of lithic artifacts, this is the first volume to address debitage and should be of use to a wide range of archaeological researchers.
"This book provides an excellent overview of the state of research into archaeological lithic debitage at the start of the twenty-first millennium.... Nicely produced, attractive, and well organized. The importance of the concepts discussed and the impressive range of applications ensure that it will be consulted by lithic analysts for many years to come."--Lithic Technology "I highly recommend this book for those new to lithic studies or experienced analysts. For those in hiatus to lithic material studies this book is a necessary review; for those who have been immersed all along its an invigorating 'dip' into the cold, hard reality of leading edge debitage studies. It reveals the evolutionary process of lithic analysis and explores creative ways in both traditional and non-traditional techniques emerge."--Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology "This book is a gem for those looking for a sound review and new applications of recent American studies of lithic debitage through functional and behavioral ecology lenses."--American Antiquity