Modified Implements and Cores

Modified implements are defined as chipped stone artifacts that have evidence of further modification and/or use. Cores are defined as nodules or blocks of chert that have negative flake scars (previous flake removals) across at least one face.

The coding formats used by Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., are set-up using a paradigmatic classification system (e.g., Dunnell 1971). Eight attribute dimensions are recorded for all modified implements and cores. In addition, seven additional dimensions are recorded for all bifacial implements. Metric attributes are recorded for all artifacts that are complete enough to do so. These attributes allow for the examination of technological and morphological analyses of the recovered artifacts.

Modified implement and core classes are formed by the intersection of attribute states (e.g. Dunnell 1971). Various classes can be formed depending on the questions being asked of the data. These classes can be very generalized (i.e., biface, uniface, etc.) or more specialized (i.e., distal portion of a soft hammer biface with a lateral snap, complete hard hammer biface with no failures, etc.). This data is often considered in light of the microwear analysis.

Hypothesis presented from the flake debris analysis can be tested with data generated from the analysis of cores and modified implements. In addition, the combination of data from these analyses gives a better idea of the organization of lithic technology represented in an assemblage. For example, if the flake debris analysis suggests that the local raw materials were used primarily for core reduction, while non-local materials were used for tool production, then a higher number of cores of the local and a higher number of tools of non-local sources should be evident.

If other artifact classes are present (i.e., ceramics, faunal, botanical), information gleaned from such analyses can be used in conjunction with the lithic analysis to present a more holistic view of the site occupation. Such data should also be considered in light of other site data such as site structure, size, types of features present, etc.

References Cited