Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Dr. Boyce Driskell

Committee Members

Dr. Kandace Hollenbach, Dr. Gerald Schroedl


This purpose of this study was to examine flake tools from Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Cherokee components at the Townsend project (sites 40BT89, 40BT90, 40BT91, and 40BT94) in Blount County, Tennessee and to determine the functions of these flake tools and whether these tools are actually expedient. Also, any changes that may have occurred through time in the function of these tools was assessed, as well as how these changes might apply to surrounding archaeological sites. A stepwise microwear examination was conducted, which included three levels of analysis: macroscopic examination, stereoscopic examination, and incident light examination. All 1,723 flake tools were examined macroscopically, 883 flake tools were examined stereoscopically, and only 82 flake tools were examined using the incident light microscopic examination. It was found that the flake tools from the Townsend project can be divided into two different modes of flake tools, selected tools and shaped tools. Selected tools can be defined as those that do not exhibit evidence of intentional retouch and seem to have been used for varying functions. This group of tools includes scrapers, blades and blade-like flakes, humpbacked scrapers, ovate scrapers, and wedges. In contrast to selected tools, shaped tools can be defined as those exhibiting evidence of intentional retouch and specialized functions. This group of tools includes incurvate scrapers, drills, and gravers.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Anthropology Commons