Book: B&W, 8 1/2 x 11 in, 382 pages, index, references.

Experimental Archaeology

(Experimenting with Native American Tools and Living Conditions)

By Wm Jack Hranicky

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Major Topics:

  • Basic experimental approaches
  • Tool analyses
  • Experiments in testing tool duration
  • Making and using the blowgun, bow/arrow, bola, and other tools
  • Knife morphology and basic usage
  • Stone and ceramic bowls
  • Organic materials for dyes and decoration
  • Dwelling and furniture
  • Plants and food
  • Gaming objects
  • Art as a technology
  • References in experimental archaeology. 

This publication provides examples of Native American tools and replicated examples of these tools. For all tools that are discussed, the basics of their manufacture are presented. This is followed by defining their functions and usages in American tool-using societies. Suggestions for tool analyses are described and illustrated.

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Flintknappers, many of whom are archaeologists, have been experimenting with and replicating Native American stone tools for several decades in the U.S. Work has yielded insights into Native American ways for making and using stone tools. While ethnographic data do occur for tools, most of the functions for basic tools have been learned by replication (living archaeology) and laboratory analyses (wear pattern analyses). Also, analysis of Native tools in archaeological contexts has provided a tremendous amount of information on tool useability. Actual field testing of newly-made tools has also added to our knowledge database. Experimentation provides the basis for classification, class (work domains), industry/toolkit analyses, and typology. Experimental examples of tool chassis and stone implements are shown throughout this publication. All of which encompasses and amplifies the scope of American archaeology.