Lithic means stone and in archaeological terms it is applied to any stone that has been modified in any way whatsoever by humans. Lithic analysis, therefore, is the study of those stones, usually stone tools, using scientific approaches. The branch within archaeology that undertakes the scientific analysis of archaeological materials is called archaeometry. The work of the lithic analyst or stone tool expert involves measuring the physical properties of the tool and will include categorising the type of tool, listing its characteristics and noting wear and usage marks.
Obsidian Hydration - An Inexpensive, but Problematic Dating Technique
Native American Stone Tools by cyberrug
The discovery suggests that humans lived in the area 16, years ago, more than a thousand years earlier than scientists previously thought. They therefore arrived in the Americas before an inland ice-free corridor had opened. The projectile points from the site closely resemble those found in Japan, supporting the hypothesis of a Pacific coastal route. White arrow points to the site. Image credit: Davis et al , doi: The team unearthed stone artifacts, including 27 stone tools projectile points, biface fragments, blades, and flake tools. They found charcoal, a fire-cracked rock, and 86 bone fragments likely from medium- to large-bodied animals.
Dating Stone Tools
Tools excavated from a cave in central Mexico are strong evidence that humans were living in North America at least 30, years ago, some 15, years earlier than previously thought, scientists said Wednesday. Artifacts, including 1, stone tools, showed human occupation of the high-altitude Chiquihuite Cave over a roughly 20, year period, they reported in two studies, published in Nature. The stone tools — unique in the Americas — revealed a "mature technology" which the authors speculate was brought in from elsewhere. The saga of how and when Homo sapiens arrived in the Americas — the last major landmass to be populated by our species — is fiercely debated among experts and the new findings will likely be contested. Until recently, the widely accepted storyline was that the first humans to set foot in the Americas crossed a land bridge from present-day Russia to Alaska some 13, years ago and moved south through a corridor between two massive ice sheets.
The dating of remains is essential in archaeology, in order to place finds in correct relation to one another, and to understand what was present in the experience of any human being at a given time and place. Inscribed objects sometimes bear an explicit date, or preserve the name of a dated individual. In such cases, dating might seem easy.