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Lithic Technology

 

Lithic technology is the study of stone tools and the waste products resulting from their manufacture found on archaeological sites. This research involves the study of all stages of the operational sequence (from raw material acquisition and selection to the desired final products – the tools).  Given their resistance to natural decay, lithic industries often constitute the only testimonies of past human activities and hence are considered crucial for the understanding of our ancestors - their technology, economy and other behaviour patterns.

For the countless thousands of years of human history, stone tools were the primary means used for food acquisition and processing, shelter and other requirements essential to human survival. The technological perspective applied to the study of lithics is in effect a separate field of archaeological research. It aims to reconstruct – applying diverse analytical procedures and methods – the entire process of tool production and discard.

Lithic technology must be understood as part of a cultural system and should be considered alongside studies of subsistence, settlement and mobility patterns, natural resources availability and environment.

Lithic technologygeoarchaeology, a palaeobotany, a zooarchaeology e a human bioarchaeology all have a common goal: to improve our understanding of our ancestors and their cultural responses to the environment and its resources.