Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences Lithics and Lithic Analysis Share Flipboard Email Print Apic / Hulton Archive / Getty Images Social Sciences Archaeology Basics Ancient Civilizations Excavations History of Animal and Plant Domestication Psychology Sociology Economics Environment Ergonomics Maritime By K. Kris Hirst Archaeology Expert M.A., Anthropology, University of Iowa B.Ed., Illinois State University K. Kris Hirst is an archaeologist with 30 years of field experience. Her work has appeared in scholarly publications such as Archaeology Online and Science. our editorial process Twitter Twitter K. Kris Hirst Updated October 02, 2019 Definition: Archaeologists use the (slightly ungrammatical) term 'lithics' to refer to artifacts made of stone. Since organic materials such as bone and textiles are rarely preserved, the most common type of artifact found on a prehistoric archaeological site is worked stone, whether as prepared tools such as a handaxe, adze or projectile point, hammerstone, or the tiny flakes of stone called debitage, which resulted from the construction of those tools. Lithic analysis is the study of those objects, and can entail things like determining where the stone was quarried (called sourcing), when the stone was worked (such as obsidian hydration), what kind of technology was used to make the stone tool (flint knapping and heat-treatment), and what evidence there is of the tool's use usewear or residue studies). Sources We whole-heartedly recommend the Stone Age Research Collection pages of Roger Grace, for those who want to delve deeper.Andrefsky, Jr., William 2007 The application and misapplication of mass analysis in lithic debitage studies. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:392-402.Andrefsky Jr., William 1994 Raw-material availability and the organization of technology. American Antiquity 59(1):21-34.Borradaile, G. J., et al. 1993 Magnetic and optical methods for detecting the heat treatment of chert. Journal of Archaeological Science 20:57-66.Cowan, Frank L. 1999 Making sense of flake scatters: Lithic technological strategies and mobility. American Antiquity 64(4):593-607.Crabtree, Donald E. 1972. An Introduction to Flintworking. Occasional Papers of the Idaho State University Museum, No. 28. Pocatello, Idaho, Idaho State University Museum.Gero, Joan M. 1991 Genderlithics: Women's roles in stone tool production. In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory. Joan M. Gero and Margaret W. Conkey, eds. Pp. 163-193. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.