The use of stone during the Middle Stone Age at Magubike Rockshelter, Tanzania: an examination of economy and function

  • Author / Creator
    Werner, Joseph
  • This dissertation is primarily an examination of the ways in which Middle Stone Age (MSA) hunter-gatherers from Magubike Rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania, acquired, prioritized, transformed, and used stone as tools. The results of several analyses detailed within indicate that MSA peoples in eastern Africa favoured certain high quality stone resources, made an effort to conserve them when possible, and curated them for different tasks. Over time, a trend towards greater economization of all stone resources at the site may be related to a gradual change in settlement strategy perhaps spurred by environmental factors. Experimentation also revealed a flexible approach to the use of stone tools, particularly stone points. Some of these artifacts were likely incorporated into hunting equipment as projectile armatures while others were likely applied to other tasks such as cutting or scraping. While engaging in this work I also developed an interest in the methods used to assess the function of stone tools. This interest led me to develop and test a quantitative method capable of differentiating use-wear signatures using a laser scanning confocal microscope. Although the material from Magubike Rockshelter was found to be unsuitable for analysis using this method, I present the method here in the hopes that it may prove useful to other analysts.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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