Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Chair

Homer E. Jackson

Committee Chair Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 2

Marie E. Danforth

Committee Member 2 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 3

Philip Carr


This thesis details the use of experimental flintknapping to better understand stone tool production and the organization of technology among Woodland period hunter-gatherers within the Pine Hills region of Mississippi. The Pine Hills region is characterized archaeologically by the presence of numerous sites consisting of flake scatters and little other material remains. Local tool stone resources consist of high grade chert in the form of small river cobbles, which restricts potential tool forms available to users.

Research for this project focused on the statistical analysis of debitage created during the experimental replication of stone tools using local chert cobbles. Special attention was given to attributes of flake debris in relation to the tool production continuum. The results of this analysis indicate that a suite of attributes exists which accurately predict the position of a flake along the production continuum. Additionally, the results show that these attributes differ from those identified by previous studies.

These attributes were used to reexamine three archaeological sites within the project area (22FO1515, 22FO1545, and 22FO1546). The reanalysis of two of these sites indicates that they served as residential locations within a mobile hunter-gatherer foraging system. Reanalysis of the third site was unable to determine site function due to site disturbance and the recovery procedure employed. Consequently, the use of 3.2mm screens is suggested as standard recovery procedure within the Pine Hills.