Beyond Style and Function: A View from the Middle Paleolithic

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37 Scopus citations


Chipped stone artifacts are a significant, and often the only available, record of prehistoric hunter‐gatherers. The assemblages from four Middle Paleolithic sites in the Iberian peninsula form the basis of a study that addresses the behavioral significance of the variability in these objects. Artifact edges form the primary focus of this analysis, and permit morphology to be quantitatively characterized. Variability is generally continuous for the morphological features examined. Additionally, both edge and tool morphology seem primarily a function of the intensity of edge use and rejuvenation, and whether edge use was linearly extensive or concentrated in small areas. This suggests that retouched artifacts are more the result of the extent and nature of the use of their various edges than preconceived tools. The implications of these results for the study of the Middle Paleolithic and for the interpretation of lithic variability in general are discussed. 1990 American Anthropological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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