Front, back and sides: experimental replication and archaeological analysis of Hawaiian adzes and associated debitage

Clarkson, Chris, Shipton, Ceri and Weisler, Marshall (2015) Front, back and sides: experimental replication and archaeological analysis of Hawaiian adzes and associated debitage. Archaeology in Oceania, 50 2: 71-84. doi:10.1002/arco.5056


Author Clarkson, Chris
Shipton, Ceri
Weisler, Marshall
Title Front, back and sides: experimental replication and archaeological analysis of Hawaiian adzes and associated debitage
Journal name Archaeology in Oceania
ISSN 1834-4453
0003-8121
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/arco.5056
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 50
Issue 2
Start page 71
End page 84
Total pages 14
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract We report our attempts to experimentally replicate 25 fine-grained basalt Hawaiian quadrangular adzes using freehand percussion. We document the techniques, stages and distinctive debitage resulting from each stage of the reduction process. While the later experimental adzes in our series reproduced the Hawaiian quadrangular adze with accuracy, we were unable to achieve the level of finesse seen in some finished archaeological specimens. Our experiments, and the gap between our own results and the finest examples seen in some archaeological collections, indicates the very high levels of skill needed to make the most refined Hawaiian adzes, and supports the notion that some adze makers were undoubtedly specialists. Our experimental work complements another study of archaeological adzes that examines the technological strategies and the cumulative addition of morphological elements to adzes during manufacture. We hope this study will serve as a useful benchmark for objectively and systematically comparing quadrangular adze technology across Hawai‘i and throughout Polynesia, leading to a better understanding of regional and temporal variation in adze technology.
Keyword Adze
Replication
Lithics
Hawai'i
Prehistory
Pacific
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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