Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Peacock, Evan

Committee Member

Miller, Darcy Shane

Committee Member

Rafferty, Janet E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


A network-based method is developed for analyzing use in stone tool assemblages, where 'use' denotes the tasks for which chipped edges are suitable. Modeling chipped edges as nodes, use-wear and retouch as edge traversals, use-life trajectories of chipped edges as inter-connecting paths, and `tools' as subnetworks over which design tolerances are maintained on edge morphology, the method is an attempt to improve on existing models, allowing for complex, continuous change and multiple uses throughout a chipped edge's use-life. Avoiding analogy-based categories, the method is designed to highlight rather than obscure the possibilities for use and multi-use. Potential for integration into social-learning based models of cultural evolution is considered. The metric is employed to address the widely noted paucity of lithics in Late Prehistoric contexts of the southeastern U.S. Specifically, the Lyon's Bluff site (22OK520, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi) is shown to exhibit substantial use-capacity, suggesting that paucity does not imply divestment.