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The Interpretation of Bipolar Knapping in African Stone Age Studies
Paloma de la Peña
Vol. 56, No. 6 (December 2015), pp. 911-923
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/684071
Page Count: 13
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Quartz, Latent semantic analysis, History of technology, Scars, Stone age, Technology, Evolution, Prehistory, Technological change, Endangered Species Act
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Bipolar knapping is presented as a case study for the interpretation of African prehistory. Bipolar knapping was first thought of as a typological marker, but lately it has been referred to as a technological marker. I challenge the idea that the technological change represented by bipolar knapping should be understood as a technological marker, because to do so is simply a translation of an outdated typological definition taken unconsciously from evolutionary schemes. Bipolar knapping, as with many other technological traits belonging to the Final Pleistocene, appears and disappears probably for different cultural and economic reasons. An example of Howiesons Poort bipolar knapping is presented here to highlight the prominence of this technique in the Middle Stone Age, notwithstanding its underrecognition in published lithic analyses.
© 2015 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved.