Fitting Analytical Techniques to Prehistoric Problems with Lithic Data



Nine components from four prehistoric sites in the Lower Illinois Valley of Illinois have recently been subjected to intensive lithic analyses. This paper constitutes an appraisal of the success of various approaches on each of five types of question. Issues include: 1) permanence of occupation; 2) tool manufacture; 3) conservation of lithic material; 4) use of tools of different raw materials; and 5) other use-oriented considerations such as form-function correspondences and the functional composition of debitage. No one technique emerges any more helpful than the others, for the appropriate analytical mode is dependent on the question asked; a breadth of concerns necessitates a broad range of technical responses.