A particular type of cobble spall tool from the Canadian Plains : multi-variant analysis of early-middle period Eldon Unifaces
Stewart, Matthew Sigfried
Eldon unifaces are unifacially flaked stone tool artifacts that are unique to the Canadian Plains of the early-Middle Period (7,500-4,500 ya). They are unique because cortex covers the ventral side. The artifacts also have a suit of traits such as being thinned (or an attempt was made to thin), unifically flaked, and there is a preference for them to be made from large quartzite cobbles. Further morphological traits indicate that there are four related types of these tools: Classic, Corner, Side, and Amorphous; the first two are the focus of this thesis. Design theory and Châine Opératoire are used to study how the artifacts were made and used. Other geographic regions are sought for similar artifact forms: Manitoba, Eastern Woodlands /Maritimes, and British Columbia. It is the cobble spall tools from British Columbia that has the most striking similarity in morphology and manufacturing strategy. There are also important differences like in how Eldon unifaces are more heterogeneous and circumscribed to a shorter period of time than the British Columbia artifacts. A morphological and usewear analysis is undertaken to ascertain the function of Classic and Corner Eldon unifaces. The morphological analysis indicates that the tools were likely used to process medium to hard materials; however, the literature is rife with contraditctions on how to relate morphology with function. This questioned the reliability of a morphological approach to function and indicated that it needed to be supported by a usewear approach. The usewear analysis supported the inferences of the tools working medium to hard materials and also indicated how the tools were used (motion). Further, the usewear and morphological analyses also indicated that the Eldon unifaces were likely hafted.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentAnthropology and Archaeology
ProgramAnthropology and Archaeology
CommitteeLinnamae, Urve; Zellar, Gary; Walker, Ernest; Lieverse, Angela
Copyright DateAugust 2010