Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Network-based Method for the Analysis of Use and Function in Stone Tool Kits: Implications for Late Prehistoric Settlement Patterning in Northeast Mississippi
by Ervin, Jason N., M.A., Mississippi State University, 2018, 259; 10838928
Abstract (Summary)

A network-based method is developed for analyzing use in stone tool assemblages, where ’use’ denotes the tasks for which chipped edges are suitable. Modeling chipped edges as nodes, use-wear and retouch as edge traversals, use-life trajectories of chipped edges as interconnecting paths, and ‘tools’ as subnetworks over which design tolerances are maintained on edge morphology, the method is an attempt to improve on existing models, allowing for complex, continuous change and multiple uses throughout a chipped edge’s use-life. Avoiding analogy-based categories, the method is designed to highlight rather than obscure the possibilities for use and multi-use. Potential for integration into social-learning based models of cultural evolution is considered. The metric is employed to address the widely noted paucity of lithics in Late Prehistoric contexts of the southeastern U.S. Specifically, the Lyon’s Bluff site (22OK520, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi) is shown to exhibit substantial use-capacity, suggesting that paucity does not imply divestment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Peacock, Evan
Commitee: Miller, Darcy S., Rafferty, Janet E.
School: Mississippi State University
Department: Arts and Sciences
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology
Keywords: Centrality, Integrals, Lithics, Mississippi, Network, Social learning, Tools
Publication Number: 10838928
ISBN: 978-0-438-31357-6
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