Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

Lithic Analysis Laboratory

In the Lithic Artifact Analysis Laboratory, MAI staff and students characterize various elements of stone tool technology represented in recovered assemblages and attempt to address how technological choices relate to environmental and social variables. Full metric and attribute analyses of all stone tools and flaking debris are conducted, accompanied by additional aggregate analyses (such as refitting) oriented toward identifying tool production strategies, the differential execution of toolmaking activities across space, and the recognition of taphonomic processes that may have operated at a site.

Experimental activities related to the production and use of prehistoric technologies, are also performed. Students are encouraged to "flintknap" (create stone tools) in an effort to more effectively understand the tool production process and apply their knowledge to the analysis of archaeological assemblages.

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