From Folsom to Fogelson:
The Cultural Resources Inventory Survey of Pecos National Historical Park
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Pecos Archeological Survey 1997 Lithic Manual/Coding Guide and Form (continued)



Angular debris/shatter - debitage on which no ventral or dorsal surfaces can be defined, but which may exhibit negative scars characteristic of flintknapping.

Core, undiff - pieces of lithic material which exhibit no bulb of percussion and which have three or more negative scars that originate from one or more surfaces.

Core, unidirectional - a core with flakes removed from only one platform plane.

Core, bidirectional - a core with flakes removed from two opposing platforms.

Core, multidirectional - a core with flakes removed from numerous platform planes.

Flake - an artifact which exhibits definable dorsal and ventral sides. Whole flakes exhibit a recognizable bulb of force and a platform.

Biface thinning flake - see definition on Page 4

Unidirectional edge - artifact with short flakes scars across only one artifact surface, the flake scars extending no more than 1/4 of the distance across the surface; edge produced by repeated applied force in only one direction along edge.

Thin items have a width :thickness ratio of 3:1 or greater.
Thick items have a width thickness ratio less than 3:1.

Uniface - artifact with flake scars extending across 1/3 or more of only one surface. Again thin or thick is determined by width:thickness ratio of 3:1 (see unidirectional edge, above).

Bidirectional edge - artifact with short flakes scars across both the dorsal and ventral faces, the flake scars extending no more than 1/4 of the distance across the artifact surface; artifact edge is produced by repeated force application in both directions along the edge. Thin items are distinguished from thick items by a width:thickness ratio greater than 3:1 (see unidirectional edge, above).

Biface - artifact with flake scars extending across 1/3 or more of both its ventral and dorsal surfaces. Thin items are distinguished from thick items by a width thickness ratio greater than 3:1 (see unidirectional edge, above).

Tested Cobble - cobbles from which up to two flakes have been removed as though the material was tested for suitability as a tool medium; also cobbles which appear to have been intentionally broken in half.

Cobble tool, undiff - a tool consisting either of an unmodified cobble that shows evidence of wear, or a modified cobble on which the type of modification cannot be clearly identified.

Cobble tool, unidirectional - a tool formed from a cobble that has been unifacially modified across less than one third of one surface.

Cobble tool, bidirectional - a tool formed from a cobble that has been bifacially modified across less than one third of adjacent surfaces.

Other - other types not included above; explain.


Not applicable - item was not used or was not modified into some shape suitable for use.

Used Angular Debris - angular debris which has evidence of utilization.

Used Core - core which has been used after having two or more significant flakes removed, such as for a hammerstone.

Used Flake - flakes that have not been modified after their removal from a core but show signs of obvious use-wear. This often will involve the decision as to whether certain small scale morphologic characteristics (ie:micro-flake scars) are the product of use or the result of incidental or accidental contact.

Spokeshave - a tool characterized by a concave notch formed by retouch or natural fracture. Retouch or utilization should be visible on the interior of the notch.

Denticulate - a tool characterized by a widely spaced, marginal retouch flake scars forming a serrated edge.

Awl/borer/perforator - a tool with a pointed projection, or which is needle shaped, used for puncturing or minor drilling.

Graver - characterized by a short edge projection which has been produced by unidirectional or bidirectional flaking; used for incising or perforating on soft materials (hide, bone, wood).

Scraper, undiff - artifacts with high edge angle (<50 degrees) formed by contiguous or overlapping flake scar, edge may be straight, concave, or convex. Microflaking and striations if present are confined to one edge surface, normally that which is produced by flaking, striations are perpendicular to the edge.

Scraper, end - end scrapers exhibit consistent steep unifacial or marginal unidirectional flaking on edge located at the end of the tool's longest axis.

Scraper, side - side scrapers exhibit consistent steep unifacial or marginal unidirectional flaking along one or more edges that run parallel to the tool's longest axis.

Scraper, thumbnail - thumbnail scrapers are small end scrapers, the end opposite the scraper edge is often retouched to a point (spurred) for hafting. The spur may be the result of use exhaustion in the haft area, the spur being the remnant of the initial form.

Scraper, discoidal - a disc shaped scraper.

Chopper - tools with one or more flaked edges often exhibiting heavy battering; may be hafted or unhafted. Normally large items created by the removal of a few large flakes from a cobble or thick slab; cores are sometimes used in this fashion. Flaking is usually restricted to the margin of the tool and scarring generally will not extend completely across either face.

Hammerstone - tool with clear evidence of vertical force application resulting in crushing and battering, often concentrated on the items' end or on slight projections but may occasionally appear around the circumference. Hammerstones are usually cobble tools, though cores and formal tools (such as choppers) are sometimes also used as hammers, either in addition to their original function or when no longer suitable for the purpose they were designed for.

Pecking stone - this is a specialized type of hammer stone used to roughen and refurbish the surfaces of manos and metates. In many cases a tool used for this purpose will be indistinguishable from a hammerstone. In general, a pecking stone is an elongated pebble or cobble with sharp ends, and battering wear is usually restricted to one or both ends.

Flaked axe - tools with sharpened wedge-shaped distal ends and proximal ends that are notched or grooved for hafting. Shaping can be by flaking, grinding, or a combination of both. Wear is usually restricted to the distal end and can consist of heavy battering.

Flaked hoe - hoes are similar in shape to axes, and are sometimes indistinguishable. Distal ends are either sharpened wedges or are pointed and pick-like. Shaping can be by flaking, grinding, or a combination of both. Wear is generally restricted to the distal end, and can include battering on the end of the tool as well as polish along distal faces.

Drill, undiff - a tool characterized by a long narrow projection used for drilling somewhat harder materials such as soft stone or bone. Wear if present would result from rotary motion - tip and/or edge rounding, microflaking, and/or striations perpendicular to tip.

Drill, plain shafted - parallel or roughly parallel sided drill with no lateral or basal extensions for hafting

Drill, expanding base - self explanatory

Drill, lugged - drill with lateral lug(s) or projections for hafting, associated with Dismal River Complex

Knife, undiff - items which have a low edge angle (less than 40 degrees) that have been produced by unidirectional and bidirectional flaking; edge rounding, polish, and/or microflaking if present may appear on both surfaces, striations will be parallel or oblique (saws may get included in this category); production input may be minimal but some is required to distinguish knives from used flakes. Large bifacial tools, frequently notched on one or both sides, and designed for hafting.

Knife, bevelled - a knife whose edges are bevelled so that the angles of each edge are thicker on one face than on the other. Caused by flaking on alternate faces of each edge, this is generally thought to be a result of attempts to conserve raw materials. Cross section something like this:

Blank/Preform - generally a bifacial item that has not been reduced to a final, recognizable morphological type. Often the edges have a wavy, uneven appearance when observed on edge.

Projectile point type terminology

undiff - projectile points that are too fragmentary to be assigned to any of the types specified below (There may be a functional overlap between knives and projectile points, in that a great many points are suitable for cutting, however, such items should be classed as projectile points rather than knives in order to recognize their more specialized function).

small - small points (probably arrow), that are too fragmentary to be assigned to one of the types named below.

large - large points (probably dart), that are too fragmentary to be assigned to one of the types named below.

stemmed - unnotched points with constricted lower margins.

corner notched - notched points with notches roughly diagonal to the long axis of the item.

side notched - notched points with notches roughly at right angles to the long axis of the item.

basal and side notched - side notched points that also have a notch or notches in the base, generally parallel to the long axis of the item.

triangular - unnotched points with a triangular plan view. These may be preforms for other point shapes. Differentiated from preforms in that the edges are relatively straight when viewed on edge.

lanceolate - points that are generally leaf-shaped, often pointed at both ends.

expanding base - stem margins flare to base.


None/absent - flake is broken with striking platform lacking

Single faceted/flat - lacks cortex and scarring from previous removals or preparation

Multifaceted - truncated flake scars across platform surface; scars do not originate at back edge of the platform but are from previous flake removal on the originating core or tool edge.

Abraded - modified by grinding along the back edge of the platform where the flake and dorsal flake surface meet.

Cortical - platform consists of cortex/original weathered surface of nodule or cobble from which flake was removed.

Retouched - flake scars running across platform surface, differ from multifaceted platforms in that flake scars originate along back edge of platform. Platforms sometimes retouched to ease flake removal.

Crushed - platform damaged (but not collapsed) by force of blow used to remove flake; platform shatters, obscuring original surface and separating small fragments from the platform surface.

Collapsed - platform detached from flake by force of blow used to remove it, part of proximal edge usually remains, but isn't diagnostic of original platform type. Also collapsed if most of platform gone and only hertzian cone remains. Flake w/collapsed platform is considered whole if natural distal termination is present.

Lipped - striking platform projects over the ventral surface of the flake

Unknown - platform is evident but determination of platform type is not possible (due to the nature of the lithic material, limitations imposed by field conditions, etc.).


Microflaking - multiple, contiguous and/or overlapping scars, usually less than 2 mm in length, along artifact edge, often concentrated on slight margin projections or irregularities.

Edge Rounding - Resulting from abrasion, this is indicated by the dulling of the normally angular edge margins. It is often best detected by feel, indicated by differential edge sharpness - edges tend to be softened and are less acute. Rounding is especially prevalent on the tougher types of stone such as coarser cherts or basalts.

Ridge/edge frosting - Type of edge rounding associated with very brittle and glassy materials (i.e., obsidian) where margins of ridges assume a frosty white character due to the abrasion.

Polish - this variable recognizes the presence of areas with increased light reflectivity and/or areas of decreased irregularity in surface microtopography. Such evidence is usually associated with a variety of actions against softer materials.

Striations, perpendicular - small lines/scratches perpendicular to the edge of an artifact caused by the movement/abrasion of the artifact across another surface; perpendicular lines are associated with scraping action.

Striations, parallel - small lines/scratches parallel to the edge of an artifact caused by the movement/abrasion of the artifact across another surface; parallel lines are associated with sawing action.

Striations, oblique - small lines/scratches at an oblique angle to the edge of an artifact caused by the movement/abrasion of the artifact across another surface; oblique lines are associated with cutting action.

Battering - indicated by edge crushing and a series of microflake scars of predominantly step terminations; battering occurs when a tool edge is struck against a resistant object.

Other - any other use-wear evidence, comment.


Manuport, cobble - rounded, unmodified stone that would not naturally occur on the site.

Manuport, slab - thin, tabular, unmodified stone that would not naturally occur on the site.

Hammer stone - dense, tough stone, often slight elongate fist-sized river cobbles, on which there is clear evidence of medium to heavy vertical force application (crushing and battering) along item's end or margins.

Anvil Stone - usually large flat slab or cobble with little to no production input characterized by pitted surface, usually near center, sometimes forming a small depression, resulting from repeated vertical force applications.

Mortar - Thick cobble or slab with pecked or ground deep circular central depression, margins may be battered. Mortar may be circular in plan, shaped by flaking, grinding, pecking, and/or battering.

Pestle - Used with mortar, are often cylindrical in shape, rounded or flattened ends with battering and grinding wear due to vertical force appliers, often handsized oblong cobbles.

Mano, undiff - indeterminate type of mano, could be cobbles or slab, possibly shaped by battering, pecking, and/or flaking; one or two use surfaces, possibly with facets.

One-hand mano - normally consistent in size and shape, onehanded manos are palm-sized, slightly flattened cobbles or slabs; subrectangular, oval, or circular in outline; often unmodified but production shaping may be minimal or considerable; usually single use surface although two use surfaces possible, perhaps faceted; grinding action rotary or reciprocal, but was not consistently unidirectional; associated with basin metates.

Two-hand mano, undiff - subrectangular flattened cobble or slab; shaped by pecking, flaking, and grinding to produce rectangular to subrectangular form, relatively thin in relation to length and width; one or two opposed used surfaces, possibly with facets.

Two-hand mano, trough - often subrectangular, occasionally with finger grips, grinding surface curves up along ends where they come into contact with the sides of a trough metate, end may be facetted, unidirectional grinding "trough metates constrain grinding angle and may retard the development of distinct use facets" (Phagan and Hruby 1984)

Two-hand mano, slab - grinding surface(s) generally flat in longitudinal cross-section, also longer and narrower for use on a slab metate, lack distinct facetted ends associated with a trough metate.

Other mano, comment - mano type that does not fit into the above categories; comment

Metate, undiff - large slab or flattened cobble; may be shaped to produce rectangular or subrectangular form; use surface usually large, flat to slightly convex or more complex in profile, may exhibit pecking and horizontal grinding wear.

Basin metate - large flat surfaced slabs or cobble with little or no production modification (flaking, battering, grinding); the use surface is a shallow circular or oval depression produced by circular and/or reciprocal multi-directional onehanded mano use, may have two use surfaces but normally only one will be well developed.

Trough metate - large slabs or flattened cobbles (considerably larger and heavier than basin metates); production input ranges from minimal to considerable (shaped base, sides, margins of trough); trough use surface produced by repeated, reciprocal, unidirectional (back and forth) mano action. Sides of trough used to contain the processed material.

Slab Metate - usually thinner and smaller than trough metates, large slab with virtually flat grinding surface (side to side) and flat to slightly concave grinding surface (end to end), often covering entire upper surface of artifact, may be pecked; margins often shaped into rectangular plan form and base flaked or battered.

Other metate - metate type that does not fit into the above categories; comment.

Hafted item, undifferentiated - any hafted item that does not fit the descriptions below.

Hoe - hoes are similar in shape to axes, and are sometimes indistinguishable. Distal ends are either sharpened wedges or are pointed and pick-like. Shaping can be by flaking, grinding, or a combination of both. Wear is generally restricted to the distal end, and can include battering on the end of the tool as well as polish along distal faces.

Maul - mauls are hafted hammers or battering tools with blunt distal ends and proximal ends that are notched or grooved by pecking for hafting. Shaping is usually by grinding, though flaking can also be used. Wear will generally consist of battering on the distal end.

Axe w/ground (not flaked) bit - ground axes are very often made of fibrolite (sillamanite schist), a very hard metamorphic rock with visible fibers. These are probably formed by flaking to some extent, but the dominant means of shaping is grinding. Ground bit axes often have grooved hafting elements, with either single or spiral grooves. The distal end of an axe is a relatively sharp edge, the proximal end, or poll, is usually rounded and blunt. (Record flaked bit axes under flaked stone).

Polishing stone - normally rather small, finger-gripped stone with little or no production input, material usually smooth, dense (pebble, cobble) showing differential polish on one or more surfaces (polish= both an increased light reflecting aspect and reduced surface irregularities). Mostly associated with ceramic manufacture. Also floor polishers - alluvial cobbles (discoidal, oval or loaf) with one or more relatively flat surface, may resemble one-hand manos but differ in the lack of a roughened grinding face.

Abrading stone, slab - items which demonstrate minimal evidence of abrasion or grinding, have little to no production output, and/or lack sufficient use wear to be classed as mano or metate.

Abrading stone, grooved - similar to "abrading stone, slab" above except that the abraded/ground surface exhibits a v-shaped or grooved wear pattern.

Shaped stone, undiff. - stone produced by flaking and/or grinding of unknown function, any size, usually no visible wear (placement w/in NFL category is somewhat arbitrary).

Palette - flattened cobble or slab, usually fine-textured, handsize or larger, shaped by flaking, pecking, and/or grinding to regular plan outline form; raised margin along grinding surface possible.

Jar cover - shaped slab, circular, used as lid.

Cooking slab/comal - flat slab with evidence of fireblackening on both surfaces, surfaces usually smooth but unworked, used as griddles.

Architectural slab - large shaped slabs used as door cover, vent covers, deflector stones etc.; margins often flaked, may be pecked and/or ground.

Ornament - typically exhibit high production input, well polished and smoothed, generally fine-grained, often symmetrical shape, frequently made of colorful and/or nonlocal raw materials

Firecracked rock - rock that has been fractured by extreme heat. These heat fractures can appear as spalls (curvate) as cracks or fragments with angles of 90 degrees or greater. Rocks with heat crazing can also be recorded as FCR.

Other - any other ground stone type not mentioned, comment

Unknown groundstone - nonflaked stone artifact of unknown type. If you have trouble categorizing certain items only use unknown after you have conferred with other lithic analysts or crew members. Someone else may have a good idea about what an item is.


Bullock, Peter Y., Signa L. Larralde, Sarah H. Schlanger, Regge N. Wiseman
1990 Standardized Ground-stone Artifact Analysis: A Draft Manual for the Office of Archaeological Studies. Museum of New Mexico Research Section 1990 Standardized Lithic Artifact Analysis: Attributes and Variable Code List.

Phagan, Carl J.
1985 Bandelier Archeological Survey Lithic Analysis System

Phagan, Carl J. and Thomas H. Hruby
1984 Reductive Technologies Manual: Preliminary Analysis Systems and Procedures. Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports DAP-150. US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region, Salt Lake City.

Sullivan, Alan P. and Kenneth C. Rozen
1985 Debitage Analysis and Archaeological Interpretation. American Antiquity 50(4): 755-779.

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Last Updated: 13-Feb-2006