Form and Function: A Case Study Using Pedernales Points From The Gault Site In Central Texas
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The relationship between form and function is a complicated issue that needs to be demonstrated rather than assumed. This research investigates the function of artifacts known as “Pedernales points” in order to evaluate their assumed use as projectile points. This research is based on a sample of 34 Pedernales points of the Late Archaic, from area 15, of the Gault Site in Central Texas to determine if they were used solely as projectile points, knives or both. A series of experiments were carried out utilizing use-wear analysis to create a reference database of known use-wear traces to recognize distinct traces of wear, focusing on polish and striations, using high power microscopy. The results of these experiments were then compared to 34 prehistoric specimens to identify patterns of wear, therefore determining if these highly morphologically variable points were used solely as projectiles or served multiple functions. Although post depositional surface modification (PDSM) was a large factor affecting this sample, it became clear that these tools were multifunctional implements used in a variety of tasks on different of materials.
MbyRes in Archaeology