Anthropology, Department of



Elizabeth Spott

Date of this Version



Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 20 (2005). Copyright © Elizabeth Spott; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


Quartz is a common mineral found in archaeological lithic assemblages from sites around the globe, however, little analysis and interpretation of these assemblages has been conducted Quartz debitage can make up nearly the entire lithic assemblage and can total hundreds to thousands of pieces. Valuable information can be attained by studying the debitage in these assemblages, such as the type of reduction technique, stage of reduction, and the relative distance to different lithic sources. Archaeologists have avoided quartz assemblages due to some misconceptions: it is impossible to analyze quartz reduction sequences, it is difficult to work and control and it is used as a last resort raw material. While these misconceptions may hold some truth, the myth has been kept alive because little background research has been done and few quartz assemblages have been analyzed In order to gather data from quartz assemblages a formal research design must be created and implemented

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