Publication Details

Marwick, B. & Mackay, A. (2011). Keeping your edge: recent approaches to the organisation of stone artefact technology. In B. Marwick & A. Mackay (Eds.), Keeping your Edge: Recent Approaches to the Organisation of Stone Artefact Technology (pp. 1-4). Oxford, United Kingdom: Archaeopress.


The past twenty five years has seen the development of interesting and productive new research avenues and the opening up of new ground in approaches to, and interpretations of, stone artefacts. Far beyond the description, listing and enumeration of artefact types, these developments have focused on the situational variables which structure stone artefact assemblages. Theory articulating stone artefacts with past behaviors has made possible new methods, new ways of seeing, and ultimately, new understandings of a field previously dominated by description. The aim of this volume is to present papers applying recent insights from the organization of technology to the interpretation of stone artefact assemblages from a range of archaeological contexts. Specific attention is paid to the techniques by which people acquired and maintained cutting edge technology, and the situational variables which encouraged them to employ those techniques. The unique strength of this collection is that while the studies are unified by a common goal of understanding prehistoric human behaviour through the organisation of stone artefact technology, they span a substantial geographical and chronological breadth. Given this strength, we hope that this collection of studies is one that can be drawn on for both generally for inspiration and more specifically for methods for the study of flaked stone assemblages from anywhere and anytime in prehistory. In this introductory chapter we highlight the common themes that unite the collection and summarise the key contributions of each chapter.