Thesis abstract ‘What a Dump: Use-Wear and Residue Analysis of Lithic Artefacts from Copan, Honduras’

13th November 2013

Michael Haslam

BA(Hons), Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, 1999

Microscopic examination of a collection of 150 lithic artefacts from a Late Formative excavation at Copan, Honduras, was undertaken in an attempt to reconstruct the purpose of an hypothesised ‘lithic dump’ pit feature at the site. Ethnographic analogy suggested that such a dump could be the result of the disposal of hazardous lithic waste flakes. However, higher percentages of used artefacts than predicted by the hypothesis, along with differing sizes of flakes within the feature suggest a more complex development of the feature. More specifically, the contents of the pit are inferred to be the result of the sweeping of a household area. In addition, the use-wear and residue results reveal the use of obsidian artefacts to process maize 2000 years ago, a use for obsidian not previously discovered by archaeologists.

Haslam, M.
Thesis abstract 'What a Dump: Use-Wear and Residue Analysis of Lithic Artefacts from Copan, Honduras'
2002
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Thesis Abstracts
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