First Advisor

Shelby L. Anderson

Date of Publication

Spring 5-17-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Anthropology






Stone implements -- Pacific Northwest -- Analysis, Archaeology



Physical Description

1 onkline resource (x, 230 pages)


While ground stone tools represent diverse activities, the technology is analyzed at a coarse level in the Pacific Northwest. Conducting more detailed analyses of ground stone assemblages can inform on regional Indigenous raw material knowledge, resource use, and tool manufacturing and maintenance practices.

In this thesis I addressed questions regarding ground stone technology, including manufacturing time investments, tool recycling, and how ground stone tools were used through the application of experimental tool replication, use studies, and in depth analyses. I replicated tools that are common in the region, including a banded and notched net weight, a maul, two bowls, and a pestle. The replicated tools were all produced with raw materials collected from nearby sources and all ground stone tools were manufactured with cobble choppers. I conducted use wear studies in two phases to examine the impacts of processing both hard and soft materials using the replicated bowl and pestle. The tools underwent an in-depth analysis before and after manufacture and the use wear study to assess manufacturing and use wear attributes.

The experimental replications and use study resulted in associating specific attributes with known activities and actions. These insights were then applied to the analysis of ground stone artifacts from the 35CO2 Rylander assemblage, a private artifact collection from a contact-period archaeological site located in the Lower Columbia. I was able to identify manufacturing and use wear attributes to further explore how the ground stone tools were manufactured, used, and maintained. Additionally, I demonstrated a strong relationship between raw material selection, time investment, and tool recycling in the region through the experimental studies and comparative analysis with the Rylander assemblage.

Furthermore, this study highlights the need for more robust ground stone analysis standards. Analyses that include in-depth examination at the attribute level will help expand our understanding of ground stone tool technology. Employing standardized vocabulary, terminology, and referencing attributes in photomicrographs builds more comparable datasets, giving researchers valuable insights into skill level, specialization, and time investment associated with ground stone technology.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Anthropology Commons