, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 299-368

Middle paleolithic scraper reduction: Background, clarification, and review of the evidence to date

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Abstract

The hypothesis that the principal varieties of Middle Paleolithic scrapers reflect varying degrees of resharpening and rejuvenation, rather than discrete emic types, has generated considerably controversy over the past decade. While there have been certain misunderstandings surrounding the proposed models of scraper reduction, this controversy also reflects different approaches taken by prehistorians in interpreting lithic artifacts. Placing the notion of scraper reduction in the context of lithic processes generally known as the Frison Effect, this article presents the background and intellectual context of this interpretation and attempts to clarify the models themselves and their test implications. It also reviews and summarizes data generated by several independent tests of the hypothesis and presents new data bearing on this question.