In 1968 George Frison introduced the notion of artifact transformations as a result of use and resharpening. This “Frison Effect,” as it has come to be called, on stone tools can be viewed as the life histories of individual tools. Such life histories are intimately linked to tool production, use, and maintenance. This collection of chapters grew from presentations at a symposium entitled “Artifact Life-Cycle and the Organization of Lithic Technologies” that took place at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in 2006. The focus of that symposium and this volume is upon the relationship between the manner in which humans organize their lithic technology and the life history of lithic tools.
Researchers interested in lithic technological organization realize the importance of artifact life histories in understanding the intricacies of tool form and shape as they relate to production strategies for those tools. In an effort to better understand those relationships, lithic analysts (including contributors to this volume) have explored lithic reduction sequences, chaîne opératoire, tool curation, tool production effects, retouch measurements, and the role of lithic raw material as these relate to lithic technological organization and stone tool life history. A great deal of imaginative and compelling research has occurred since the Frison Effect was first recognized, and this collection of papers provides a fresh new look at all of these topics from both a methodological and a theoretical perspective.
I would like to thank all of the participants of the original symposium for their participation.