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Size-Frequency Distributions of Experimentally Reproduced Levallois Debitage

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Date Issued:
2022
Abstract/Description:
In archaeology, size distributions of lithic debitage can convey information about reduction stage and possibly other aspects of reduction trajectories and activities. Previous investigations have used inadequately robust methods to identify and characterize fractal power law size distributions in experimental and archaeological debitage assemblages. In this study, weights and maximum dimensions of individual, experimentally reproduced “preferential” Levallois debitage specimens were recorded by core and preparation-exploitation stage. Rigorous statistical methods were used to assess distribution conformities to power law (fractal), lognormal and exponential models. Results show that Levallois debitage size distributions are complex and do not fit any simple model closely; however, MLE derived power law parameters coarsely but effectively describe most data, while exponential distributions characterize the extreme right tails. Moreover, distributions tend to form a “characteristic shape” when graphed, which persists across cores and stages. These findings may aid in identifying and evaluating Levallois materials in the archaeological record.
Title: Size-Frequency Distributions of Experimentally Reproduced Levallois Debitage.
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Name(s): Hutchison, Diana, author
Brown, Clifford T. , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Anthropology
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2022
Date Issued: 2022
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 312 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In archaeology, size distributions of lithic debitage can convey information about reduction stage and possibly other aspects of reduction trajectories and activities. Previous investigations have used inadequately robust methods to identify and characterize fractal power law size distributions in experimental and archaeological debitage assemblages. In this study, weights and maximum dimensions of individual, experimentally reproduced “preferential” Levallois debitage specimens were recorded by core and preparation-exploitation stage. Rigorous statistical methods were used to assess distribution conformities to power law (fractal), lognormal and exponential models. Results show that Levallois debitage size distributions are complex and do not fit any simple model closely; however, MLE derived power law parameters coarsely but effectively describe most data, while exponential distributions characterize the extreme right tails. Moreover, distributions tend to form a “characteristic shape” when graphed, which persists across cores and stages. These findings may aid in identifying and evaluating Levallois materials in the archaeological record.
Identifier: FA00013927 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (MA)--Florida Atlantic University, 2022.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Debitage
Experimental archaeology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013927
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.