3rd Experimental Archaeology Conference Abstract – Lotte Eigeland

From the 3rd Experimental Archaeology Conference, Edinburgh, 2008.

Flint use in flint scarce regions – Experiments with low quality flint

Lotte Eigeland

One problem for flint-scarce regions is evaluating how the scarcity influences strategies of stone tool production. In this paper I discuss the Norwegian condition, in which no indigenous flint can be found. Flint is only present along the coast, as ice-transported pebbles of mostly small sizes and irregular shapes. In other words, there must have been an unstable supply of high quality flint in prehistory. A main problem is how the transmission of technological knowledge progress in a flint-scarce region compared to a flint-rich region. For this paper, four experiments with low quality flint using different teaching methods i.e scaffolding and trial-and-error, and alternative reduction methods, like the bipolar technology, is presented. One result suggests that due to the amount of flint wasted during the process of learning, intensive apprenticeship might have been carried out in regions with better supply of flint. Bipolar technology is termed a good alternative strategy on low quality flint, but not for maximizing raw material.

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