An assessment and archaeological application of cortex measurement in lithic assemblages

Matthew J. Douglass*, Simon J. Holdaway, Patricia C. Fanning, Justin I. Shiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


We describe an experimental test and archaeological application of the solid geometry method for the interpretation of cortical surface area in lithic assemblages proposed by Dibble et al. (2005). Experimental results support the method's accuracy while archaeological application to assemblages from western New South Wales, Australia suggests a repeated pattern of the selective removal of artifacts away from their location of manufacture. These findings shed light on the role curation and mobility play in the use and eventual discard of those artifact classes for which conventional measures of curation are not applicable. The results raise new questions about Aboriginal technological organization and land use, while simultaneously highlighting the complex relationship between past human behavior and archaeological assemblage content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-526
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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