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Nine-thousand years of optimal toolstone selection through the North American Holocene

  • Jeremy C. Williams (a1), Diana M. Simone (a1), Briggs Buchanan (a2), Matthew T. Boulanger (a3), Michelle R. Bebber (a4) and Metin I. Eren (a4) (a5)...

Stone was a critical resource for prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Archaeologists, therefore, have long argued that these groups would actively have sought out stone of ‘high quality’. Although the defining of quality can be a complicated endeavour, researchers in recent years have suggested that stone with fewer impurities would be preferred for tool production, as it can be worked and used in a more controllable way. The present study shows that prehistoric hunter-gatherers at the Holocene site of Welling, in Ohio, USA, continuously selected the ‘purest’ stone for over 9000 years.

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