FALL 2001

Department of Anthropology

University of California, Berkeley

Tuesday 10-12, Rm. 16, Hearst Gym 

M. Steven Shackley

Office: Kroeber #29, 643-1193, x-3;

Office Hours: Th:1-3, and by appt.


Side-notched projectile points produced by Ishi at the Museum





Obsidian marekanites, flakes and projectile points from Late Classic Tonto Basin, Arizona sites

Seminar level overview of current method and theory in lithic technology. The geographic focus will be worldwide, although the emphasis will be topical. Major topics of discussion will include archaeometric methods in the service of lithic technology (NAA, XRF in raw material studies; ESEM in utilization studies; optical petrography), procurement and production, debitage analysis, style, ethnicity and gender studies, experimental technology (replication studies), use-wear studies, ethnoarchaeology, analytical and laboratory methods; critical examination of various theoretical approaches to stone tool analysis. Additional class time outside of class (depending on weather) will be devoted to flintknapping practice including replication, and an examination of the obsidian debitage and Archaic projectile points from McEuen Cave (AZ W:13:6 ASM), a hunter-gatherer to farmer transition rockshelter site in southeastern Arizona.

Weekly reading on topics will provide the basis for seminar discussion. All students are expected to read assigned material and participate in discussions. Recommended texts: Andrefsky, W. (1998) "Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis" and Whittaker, J. (1994) "Flintknapping".


Graduate students only. Classroom participation and a research paper. No exams. Research paper should focus on one or more of the topics discussed in class, an ongoing project, or the analysis of a portion of the McEuen Cave assemblage.

One or more students will be required to guide the discussion each week drawing on assigned readings, with the possible addition of one or two more readings of your choice. These students are responsible for providing copies of all readings, and making them available at a pre-arranged location. Many of the readings will be in reserved books in the Anthro library.

Flintknapping toolkit

Those without knapping gear may purchase a tool kit plus moose antler billet from Great Lakes Lithics (, 888-316-4667, 3168 W. Shore Dr., Battle Creek, MI 49017. Frank Stevens will give us a good price. Order the beginner kit, plus a small finished antler billet, and tell him you’re taking this class. This tool kit will last many years. Price approximately $50.00. I also recommend that you carry a 10x hand lens.


CALENDAR (subject to revision) ANTH 228

DATE                 SUBJECT (reading list for the week is hot linked to PDF files)


August 28         Introduction - General discussion, course structure

September 4     Archaeometry and Lithic Technology - Shackley

September 11     Procurement, production and processing

September 18     Ethnology and ethnoarchaeology

September 25     Debitage and bipolar production

October 2            Analytical/laboratory strategies

October 9             Lab Day - Lab examination of McEuen Cave debitage

October 16           Experimental technology (replication studies)

October 23           Use wear/heat treatment

October 30            Style, ethnicity and cultural identity

November 6         Lab Day - Projectile point analysis in lab

November 13       Typology versus attribute analysis (Old versus New World approaches)

November 20        Gender, cognitive and post-processual approaches and the 21st Century

November 27/

December 11 

RESEARCH/PROJECT PAPERS DUE!: 103 Kroeber Hall, 4 pm, or 232 Kroeber Hall by 5 pm.







Recommended reading

(available at the PAHMA store and

campus textbooks)







A metric scheme for Southwest Archaic projectile points (from Shackley 1990).