LITHIC ANALYSIS ODELL PDF

After shuffling through literally thousands of stones and asking hundreds of questions, the neophite even tually reaches a level at which he or she can fly solo, requiring less and less attention from the Master. While this pedagogical model has been frequently tried and tested, it is not always the most efficient method, it is very labor-intensive, and it requires a resident lithics expert, a situation that often does not exist in reality. Learning the ropes would clearly be more practical if there were a manual to consult, a book that provides information and direction so that the Master might at least be spared the most elemental questions and would not have to be available all the time. These are good books, and can profitably be employed by fledgling lithic analysts.

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Anne S. In such cases, toolstone procurement may require organized task groups to obtain the raw material and bring it to reduction areas or ultimately to use and then discard zones, rather than ad hoc opportunism. Patterning and cases that diverge from the expected are examined to better understand the relationship between places where populations use their tools and the locations where raw materials are found.

In turn, by looking closely at these relationships, archaeologists may come to new conclusions about the technological systems within which tool making plays a key role. The articles that follow are dedicated to George Hamley Odell , who was to have been a discussant at a Society for American Archaeology SAA symposium on these topics presented April 19, in Memphis, Tennessee. Odell showed that the Hillslope component of the Napoleon Hollow Site was a mortuary dump and the Floodplain component of the same site may have been a ritual or mortuary camp, both related to the nearby Elizabeth Burial Mounds.

But as famous as is his use- or micro-wear research, Odell , , a, also made major ! In particular, Odell showed archaeologists that the relationship between raw material procurement and tool use is dynamic and situational. In other words, it changes according to the specific requirements of any given cultural situation.

I was curious about what Dr. Odell was going to say in his remarks, and this prompted me to speculate about the directions he would have predicted quarry research is going based upon his previous contributions to lithic analysis and raw material procurement Figure 1. While Odell , , was extremely well known for micro-wear analysis or use-wear on tool edges and surfaces, as well as tool function, his work on sourcing and studying stone tool or raw material distributions was also important, and deserves to be considered among his principal contributions to the field.

George Hamley Odell Courtesy of Frieda Vereecken-Odell, used with permission. Early publications by George and his wife Frieda were focused on use-wear analysis e. Odell studied chert availability to prehistoric site inhabi- tants along a large transportation project in Illinois. Other publications included Cowan and Odell ; Odell a, b, , , a, b, , Odell and Cowan , By this decade, Odell a had demonstrated to other archae- ologists the value of a large and careful lithic sample for evaluating hunter- gatherer to agricultural society mobility.

Additional publications include Odell , , a, b, , , , , ; Shingleton et al. Odell noted that groups in the Illinois Valley obtained small amounts of obsidian and used it to make the projectile points that were most visible to outside groups because showing off access to rare materials marked status.

Other publications included Odell b, c, , Shott and Trail offer an example of such an approach, called landmark-based geometric morphologic analysis. We might look at these scanning and topographic analyses as almost Geographic Information Systems GIS approaches to tool shapes and surfaces because researchers are encouraged to take finer measurements and compare quanti- tative data from multiple examples.

This kind of analytical approach may permit a more holistic study of artifact classification, technology, and use, merging the study of artifact size and shape with abrasion, wear, edge grinding, heat treating, and other post production surface tool charac- teristics. Methods such as these will invigorate lithic classification and typology. For example, in a book review of a volume edited by Clarkson and Lamb about lithic reduction processes in Australia, Odell described a number of ways archaeologists study topics such as how to measure reduction intensity, an emphasis that may be expected given that typology is not generally a helpful way to look at expedient tool production.

In one publication, Odell a characterized the quantity of utilized functional units and polar co-ordinates an arbitrarily assigned point on the margin of a tool as the most useful in this study of hunter-gatherer mobility or, conversely, sedentism. While residential mobility declined throughout the Holocene, the trends among lithic variables correlated with that decline were not so clear-cut.

In some cases ratios of hafted versus handheld tools had more of an effect on use-wear frequencies than did mobility per se. This is because hafting removed large sections of the tool from abrasive use and created a more specialized tool. In another study, Odell evaluated data from a large highway project with respect to five themes: 1.

For example, in the Smiling Dan Site assem- blage, while use-wears effectively discriminated among raw materials, other morphological or technical variables did not Odell, Some questions such as occupation permanence or impermanence may be better answered by non-lithic data.

Toolstone sources, for example Burlington chert, were available west of the Illinois River, but absent to the east Odell, Variable economizing behaviors were evident in sites on either side of the river Napoleon Hollow and Campbell Hollow correlated with chert availability Odell, Core technology changed over time as well, predicated on the idea that standardized as opposed to amorphous cores were more portable and thus were easier to carry long distances.

Cherts in the region were both primary and secondary deposits. They are found in streambeds where most often they are a sample of the underlying bedrock exposed though water down cutting and they were also quarried from bedrock substrates. Burlington, Baylis, and cherts from Pleistocene gravel deposits exist in the study area. Predicting higher quality chert sources may be achieved by studying aerial maps to look for outcrops, calculating the degree of down cutting, paying attention to the internal variation within forma- tions, and recording the slope and length and width of valleys to compare chert distributions with topographic characteristics Odell, In a discussion of procurement, Odell a pointed out that this was essentially a scheduling problem, and cited a number of examples, such as work on Paleoindian Folsom groups where individuals may have traveled long distances to acquire raw materials MacDonald, ; MacDonald and Hewlett, Where people looked for mates or for food, they may have also procured toolstone.

Examples of procurement embedded in an overall subsistence strategy include collecting locally available obsidian among the Hohokam or long distance transport of Gaspe silica in Paleoindian sites upstream of the source Mitchell and Shackley, ; Shackley, ; Wright, Examples of targeted procurement include Nobles Pond Paleoindian groups who collected materials from distant quarries in what have been surmised to be systematic ways based upon similar raw material spectra Seeman, Ingbar has hypothesized that organization of technology and raw material procurement are co-dependent.

Odell and Robert G. Elston, the following group of articles advances the identification and description of lithic procure- ment systems.

A procurement system covers the techniques, skills, and social practices that are used to obtain food or raw materials for production Dowd, a, , b, c; Flannery, Archaeol- ogists, who are interested in quarries and raw material sources, know that acquiring raw material varies greatly from one situation to the next.

The articles that follow each offer a special perspective on raw material sources and procure- ment Dowd Dowd and Vlcek show the distributions of raw materials in a drainage system in northwest Wyoming. Local materials, like chert, quartzite, or steatite, contrast with obsidian available from farther away. Parish examines chert distributions around the Dover Quarries in Tennessee and relates these to quarrying and extraction tech- niques across the site complex. Examples of new conclusions about technological systems are shown in Etcheison and Trubitt, and Cooney et al.

The first described a quarry site in between two rivers and the second concerned a set of quarry sites on islands. Water transport was a significant factor in raw material distribution.

Daron G. Duke on Experimental Archaeology Duke uses experimental archaeology to look closely at why fine-grained volcanics like basalt, dacite, or andesite were preferred in the Great Basin, where there were other materials like obsidian, chert, or argillite to choose from. The reason that fine-grained volcanics were valued comes from their durability over flakeability, and Duke advocates comparing the materials experimentally as a good way to test that assumption. The proportion of durable as opposed to sharp-edged materials fluxuated based upon the degree to which hunting or gathering activities were emphasized by the culture or group in question.

Duke has deftly tied settlement and subsistence patterning to the selection of one raw material type, long thought to be less optimal, over one traditionally thought of as more highly valued. Dowd and David Vlcek on Local and Non-Local Sources Dowd and Vlcek provide a regional overview of a major drainage in west- central Wyoming showing where obsidian is available to the north and west of the Green River Basin and the locations of chert, quartzite, and steatite quarries within the drainage.

Previously, known chert sources in the region were called by several different names, for this reason the authors organize known chert types by geological formation or unit: 1. Wasatch; 3. Obsidian, which previously has been thought to come from primarily north- western Wyoming e. The study identifies social processes influencing the use of raw material sources.

In this way, raw material choices may have reinforced ethnic identity as Cooney et al. Ryan M. Parish, on Geological Distributions Parish takes a close look at the geological reasons for the surface material distributions at a Tennessee chert quarry complex used from Paleoindian times on.

Mississippian peoples heavily exploited the Dover Quarries for axes, hoes, and other implements. Erosion along stream drainages often exposed buried chert strata and created weathered soil deposits containing chert nodules that could be more easily collected by miners who dug quarry surface quarry pits. Meeks Etchieson and Mary Beth D.

Besides being large and important for their valued raw material, these quarries are sig- nificant in terms of National Register of Historic Places Criterion B, association with the life of an important person or persons significant in our past, specifically William Henry Holmes in the s.

Besides Holmes, other researchers looked at these quarry locales in the s and early s, making this a key area for scholars interested in the historiography of quarry research.

The authors reported characterizing the novaculite sources using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis INAA , fine tuning the information available on time period of use through excavations such as at the Jones Mills Site 3HS28 , and emphasizing the location of the quarries between two rivers, which would have facilitated the transport of raw material out of the region to other places such as Oklahoma and Texas.

Like a few other large regional studies of quarries, Dowd a, b, c and Elston , Etchieson and Trubitt carefully positioned the raw material in the prehistoric context of the region by looking not only at the quarries themselves and the features therein, but also by examining the places where the raw materials were used. Artifact size and weight classes steadily decreased at distances away from the quarry complex. This article contains a quarry feature inventory, providing the reader with a review of the physical remains of different approaches to surface stone quarrying.

Another quarry example is on Rathlin Island, where porcellanite is available at the Brockley Site. One other porcellanite quarry for axehead production exists and can be differentiated from Brockley materials based upon trace element levels of strontium.

The distribution of Brockley materials can be traced back to their source, and their wide range as well as greater size, e. Relative ease of transport across water may in part account for this phenomenon.

Felsite from the North Roe peninsula in the Shetland Islands is another material important to Neolithic axe makers. Felsite quarry zones form a portion of the larger settlement pattern, which includes farming and habitation. Cooney et al. The locations, significance of the raw materials, and symbolism of the artifacts themselves axes used to clear forests for farming , were tied to a symbolic landscape, cosmology, and Neolithic farming cul- tural identity.

In North America, where we are only just starting to give quarry research its due, we tend to think of raw material sources, mining, and tool production in more pragmatic, industrial, rather than symbolic or cognitive terms Nowell and Davidson, Robert G. George H. His degrees, Ph. Besides use-wear analysis, Odell , was interested in where people got their raw material and what the relationship was between resource catchments and degree of sedentism.

I suspect that the direction in which Dr. Odell would have encouraged us to go would have been towards increasingly fine-grained analyses of the quarries themselves and to the study of tools to make tools, thus permitting archaeologists to elaborate upon human quarrying behavioral variability and by extension, as Dr. Elston points out, human evolution.

Supak will not be published in this issue, and two from an earlier SAA session have been included, by Parish as well as Dowd and Vlcek. Elston, whose concluding remarks form the summary chapter of this thematic issue of North American Archaeologist. Odell was to have joined Dr. Elston as a discussant, but unfortunately passed away on October 14, Born April 17, , he was 69 years old, and will be greatly missed.

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Lithic Analysis

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