Functional analysis of prismatic blades and bladelets from Pinson Mounds, Tennessee
Kay et al
Hopewell prismatic blade industries are a standardized technology but not a specialized one. Exactly why they are ubiquitous and synonymous with Hopewell is a puzzle. That Hopewell prismatic blade technology satisfied basic tool needs concurrent with efficient usage of toolstone are beyond dispute. Prismatic blades from Pinson Mounds and other Hopewell sites in the Midwest and Southeast United States were simple, easily repaired, modular tool forms of variable usage. This functional evaluation of 125 artifacts documents far distant preferential exploitation of prismatic blade toolstone sources within the Ohio River valley and its tributaries, reveals statistically significant differences among seven technological types, explicates a production chain model for burins, and argues that prismatic blade technology had an equal or greater social meaning and identity as a quintessential symbol of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere.