Lithic Debitage Analysis at the Louisville Swamp Site

Eva Larson, Hannah Bergene, and Dr. Brian Hoffman, Department of Anthropology, Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104

Humans have been making stone tools for millions of years by flintknapping raw lithic (stone) material into a variety of tools used for hunting, building, farming, food preparation, and more. When reducing larger stone into smaller artifacts, lithic waste flakes are created as by-products and are often left discarded around the flintknappers’ workspace. One interesting workshop containing evidence of stone tool production is the Louisville Swamp Site in southern Minnesota, which is dated to at least 1,000 years old. The main research question surrounding the Louisville Swamp Site is: what flintknapping strategies were being used at this site to prepare the stone materials for later transport off site? We have tested for three possible strategies: core flake reduction, early biface reduction, or early and late biface reduction. In order to determine which of these three approaches is most accurate, data was collected on flake attributes to understand lithic reduction strategies at the site. These attributes included class, raw material, cortex, size grade, length, width, thickness, platform angle and type, platform lip and percussion bulb, and flake termination. Based on our results, we argue that the Louisville Swamp Site was a lithic workshop focused on early biface reduction. As a culturally significant site, these results help to paint a more complete picture of the Louisville Swamp’s history and help us understand the lives of Indigenous peoples who worked at this site thousands of years ago.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Eva Larson, Hannah Bergene

Institution: Hamline University

Type: Poster

Subject: Anthropology & Archeology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2025