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SIGNIFICANCE OF VARIABILITY IN ARCHAIC POINT ASSEMBLAGES

Anta Montet-White
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 19, No. 63 (February 1974), pp. 14-24
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25667180
Page Count: 11
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SIGNIFICANCE OF VARIABILITY IN ARCHAIC POINT ASSEMBLAGES
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Abstract

The analysis of a sample of Archaic points from private collections led the author to question the effectiveness of traditional tool typologies to explain morphological variability. Causes of variations are discussed; time, space and functional specialization are estimated to contribute only part of the total variation. A systems model relating point manufacture and use to hunting strategies is presented. Chipping and retouching techniques are defined as elements of the system variety. Technical choices constitute the mechanisms maintaining the system in a state of equilibrium; technological change results from the introduction of new sets of techniques. The nature of the choices and the range of variations tolerated within the system are deduced from the analysis of the sample. The analysis relies on a recently developed method of recording morphological characteristics. More extensive methods of testing the model are briefly described.

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