Analysis of Artifacts and Debitage: Perspectives on Lithic Resource Use on Adak Island, Alaska

Elizabeth G. Wilmerding and Marvin Kay


The Central Aleutians Archaeological and Paleobiological Project (CAAPP) excavated at two midden areas and one activity area on Adak Island during the 2005 field season. Lithic artifacts and debitage were recovered from ADK-171 (Clinocardium midden) (5735–6000 B.P.) and ADK-171 (Test Pit 55–1) (6040 B.P.) and ADK-012 (Dozered site) (1515–2470 B.P.). Lithic artifacts included griddle stones, abraders, cores, bifaces, and flake tools. The debitage derived largely from tabular platform core and bipolar reduction processes but there were also small quantities of debris associated with bifacial production. Analysis of the debitage indicated that more kinds of raw materials were used than indicated by the tools. Microscopic use-wear analysis both confirmed and expanded our functional interpretations and provided information about hafting, use, and contact material for many of the tools in the assemblages.

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