Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 151–186 | Cite as

Lithic Modes A–I: A New Framework for Describing Global-Scale Variation in Stone Tool Technology Illustrated with Evidence from the East Mediterranean Levant



Grahame Clark’s framework for describing stone tool assemblages in terms of five technological “modes” enjoys wide use in European, African, and Asian prehistory. With greater usage and increases in the global archaeological database for prehistory, problems and weaknesses of Clark’s framework have become apparent. This paper reviews these problems and proposes an updated framework, modes A–I, for describing variability in stone tool production strategies. The value of this new framework for prehistory is illustrated using data from the East Mediterranean Levant.


Prehistory Lithic Technology Modes Stone Tools Levant 



For their comments on an earlier draft of this paper, I thank Metin Eren, George Odell, and one anonymous reviewer.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anthropology Department & Turkana Basin InstituteStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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