Comparing stone tool resharpening trajectories with the aid of elliptical fourier analysis

Radu Ioviţǎ

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Resharpening has long played a confusing role in the history of research on lithic variability. In this chapter, I argue that, far from confounding issues of variability, resharpening can be used as a classificatory principle because it reflects human technical choices related to repeated uses of a tool. The advantage that resharpening offers is that of a mathematically suitable study object, through the investigation of shape change along the continuum of size reduction. Building upon a rich history of research in both biology and prehistoric archaeology, I present a variant of a new method for comparing resharpening trajectories, using elliptical Fourier analysis (EFA) and principal components analysis to compare the slopes of allometric regressions. The theoretical presentation is followed by a worked example using bifacial tools from two European Middle Paleolithic sites: Pech de l'Azé I (France) and Buhlen III (Germany).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Old Stones
    Subtitle of host publicationAnalytical Approaches to Paleolithic Technologies
    PublisherSpringer New York
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Print)9781441968609
    StatePublished - 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences
    • General Arts and Humanities


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