Abstract Title

Fracture force versus impact durability: controlled experimental tests of chert and obsidian projectile points

Abstract

Why prehistoric hunter-gatherers chose particular raw materials from which to produce their projectile points was dependent on several factors: raw material availability, culture, production skill, or function. Here, via controlled materials science tests and ballistics tests we examine the force required to fracture chert versus obsidian points, and how these two point raw materials fracture upon impact. Using standardized specimens, we control for point size, shape, and hafting type. Our results will have implications for why prehistoric foragers chose these different raw materials in particular contexts, and perhaps why certain prehistoric cultures used both raw materials simultaneously.

Modified Abstract

Why prehistoric hunter-gatherers chose particular raw materials from which to produce their projectile points was dependent on several factors: raw material availability, culture, production skill, or function. Here, via controlled materials science tests and ballistics tests we examine the force required to fracture chert versus obsidian points, and how these two point raw materials fracture upon impact. Using standardized specimens, we control for point size, shape, and hafting type. Our results will have implications for why prehistoric foragers chose these different raw materials in particular contexts, and perhaps why certain prehistoric cultures used both raw materials simultaneously.

Research Category

Social Science/Education/Public Health

Primary Author's Major

Archaeology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Metin

Eren

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

April 2019

Research Area

Archaeological Anthropology

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Fracture force versus impact durability: controlled experimental tests of chert and obsidian projectile points

Why prehistoric hunter-gatherers chose particular raw materials from which to produce their projectile points was dependent on several factors: raw material availability, culture, production skill, or function. Here, via controlled materials science tests and ballistics tests we examine the force required to fracture chert versus obsidian points, and how these two point raw materials fracture upon impact. Using standardized specimens, we control for point size, shape, and hafting type. Our results will have implications for why prehistoric foragers chose these different raw materials in particular contexts, and perhaps why certain prehistoric cultures used both raw materials simultaneously.