Faculty Publications


On the spur of the moment: Effects of age and experience on hafted stone scraper morphology.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Kathryn Weedman Arthur

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2002

Date Available

August 2014




North American archaeologists often designate spurs on scrapers as gravers or use them as temporal markers for the Paleoindian Period. The functional and stylistic aspects of spurred scrapers are explored here through an ethnoarchaeological study of stone scraper procurement, production, use, and discard among the Gamo of southern Ethiopia. This research demonstrates that the presence of so-called "graver" spurs does not have a functional significance, but is the result of inexperience and/or the waning strength of the hideworker. Furthermore, spurred scrapers occur in abundance at villages where breakage rates also are high, reflecting the presence of a number of inexperienced hideworkers. Lastly, this paper explores the relationship between the experience of the knapper and tool standardization. The analysis suggests that in lineage-based learning systems more-experienced hideworkers assist less-experienced hideworkers, and thus blur any relationship between experience and standardization.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in American Antiquity, 67(4), 731-744. DOI: 10.2307/1593801 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Society for American Archaeology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.