An Analysis of Chert Tools from Xunantunich, Belize




Chapman, Thomas John

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This thesis examines a unique lithic tool form observed in the plaza of Group E of Xunantunich. This tool form was recovered in high quantities during testing conducted by the Mopan Valley Preclassic Project. Examination is comprised of three sections: a microartifact analysis, an experimental study, and a high-powered usewear analysis. Microartifact analysis was performed to identify possible non-perishable waste materials produced with these tools. Accompanying this microartifact study, an experimental program was completed in order to identify the expected development of usewear produced from hypothesized use motions. Combined with the results from the previous studies, a technological study and a high-powered usewear analysis (40X-400X) was performed on 128 lithic artifacts with goals of determining the manufacture strategies and the general motion of the tool use. My research was able to eliminate one of the three hypothesized functions for these unifacially worked bladelets, while analysis showed that the use-wear traces were consistent with the remaining two hypothesized functions.


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Belize, Lithic Analysis, Microwear Analysis, Use-Wear Analysis, Xunantunich