Small knaps to a better scraper: the economics of stone sharpening in Neanderthals

That title is suggested to me by Sam Penrose, who sends this article along:

“A fundamental assumption is that the most important factor in lithic techno-economics is the amount of cutting edge you can extract from your raw material. So making thinner flakes with more edge overall is a more economic use of stone resources. Dibble took a very large scale approach to the archaeological record, and suggests an overarching pattern of increasing economy through time. Early Stone Age flakes from the African Oldowan are variable in size, but have average levels of economy, measured by edge : mass. By the Middle Palaeolithic, techno-economics have become improved, but interestingly through two approaches. Prepared core technology, or the Levallois technique, permits control over the flakes produced, and, depending on the style used, can result in either wide/long and thin flakes.”


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