Defining and measuring reduction in unifacial stone tools

Metin I. Eren*, Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo, Steven L. Kuhn, Daniel S. Adler, Ian Le, Ofer Bar-Yosef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Observations pertaining to particular stages of the lithic chaîne opératoire, or reconstructions of the entire operational sequence at a particular site, can be used to develop a detailed understanding of past human cognitive capabilities, technological sophistication, mobility, and land use. The "reduction sequence" is a specific stage of the chaîne opératoire that many archaeologists have attempted to measure. Many of these attempts fail to recognize that "reduction" is a three-dimensional process, and thus should be measured with an appropriate three-dimensional unit: Volume. This paper presents a new methodology for measuring and defining reduction in unifacial stone tools that reconstructs the original volume of a modified blank, allowing a realistic percentage of volume loss to be calculated. This new method is fast, precise, and very accurate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1201
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


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