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Analysis of Lithic Artefact Microdebitage for Chronological Determination of Archaeological Sites

George J. Susino
Publication Year:
159pp. Includes 64 tables, 112 figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs, 3 data Appendices
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This study explores several different techniques to isolate and determine the age of lithic microdebitage in relation to archaeological deposits and sedimentation. This research proposes the integration of techniques available in archaeology and geomorphology to ascertain the shape and features of quartz microdebitage, and the use of OSL for direct dating of the artefacts and sediments. In this research, sedimentary samples from two archaeological sites in northern Australia are analysed using experimental methodologies to isolate and date quartz microdebitage, derived from the process of manufacturing stone tools. The central aim of this research is to apply the OSL dating technique for direct dating of quartz artefactual material. In order to achieve this it is necessary to unequivocally distinguish between microdebitage and the surrounding sediments. This is done by applying grain surface features techniques and microdebitage analysis to separate archaeological quartz and naturally occurring sedimentary quartz grains. The aims of this research are, therefore, to identify quartz microdebitage from archaeologically relevant deposits, and to use quartz microdebitage for OSL age determination, along with refinements in microdebitage analysis techniques. The principal novel aspect of this research is the dating of quartz microartefacts by OSL, although the combination of approaches taken, and their integration, is also innovative.