Grinding-tool design as conditioned by land-use pattern

Margaret Nelson, Heidi Lippmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The form in which archaeologists recover artifacts is the product of intentional design, use modification, and postdepositional alteration. Analysis of grinding tools, from small prehistoric sites in southwestern New Mexico, indicates the effects of intentional design and use modification on artifact form. These variables of technological behavior are considered in relation to anticipated, regular occupation of sites. Distinguishing the extent to which site visits are anticipated and regular can enhance our understanding of how places and resources were used and how land use was organized. Because grinding tools commonly remain on sites, their anticipated reuse signals anticipated reuse of the places where they occur. While characteristics of intentional design positively correlate with regularity of site occupation, the effects of use modification do not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-305
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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