Far Western Anthropological Research Group
Occasional Speaker Series Presents
Mike Lenzi, M.A., RPA
Staff Archaeologist, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc.
The Utility of Experimental Archaeology for Addressing Research Questions:
A Case Study of Crescents from the Western United States.
Thursday, September 10th, 2015 – 5:00 pm
Far Western Lab
2727 Del Rio Place, Davis, CA 95618
Experimental archaeology is used to understand how artifacts were manufactured, used, and discarded. This study used replicated crescents to evaluate common hypotheses for their function and demystify their role in the prehistoric toolkit. Models from human behavioral ecology were applied to evaluate the efficiency of crescents to cut leather, scrape willow, and tip projectiles. Breaks accrued from use of the replicated crescents were compared to archaeological patterns. The hypothesis that the primary function of crescents is for cutting and slicing tasks and scraping plants is not supported; however, use as transverse projectile points is well-supported.