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Journal Article

Artifact orientations and site formation processes from total station proveniences


McPherron,  Shannon P.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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McPherron, S. P. (2005). Artifact orientations and site formation processes from total station proveniences. Journal of Archaeological Science, 32(7), 1003-1014.

Cite as:
It is well understood that the orientation of clasts within a deposit can yield information on site formation processes. Although the term clast usually refers to the natural component of a deposit, the artifactual and faunal components are also known to be sensitive to site formation processes. There are a number of ways in which orientations can be recorded and analyzed, and this paper describes how orientations can be recorded as part of piece proveniencing artifacts with a total station. After the method is described, the calculation, statistical analysis and presentation of artifact orientations are considered. The final part of the paper presents orientation data from Pech de l'Aze IV recorded and analyzed in this way. The example demonstrates the effectiveness of the total station method of recording orientations, their sensitivity to site formation processes, and the importance of using multiple methods of data analysis and presentation to assess and interpret patterning. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [References: 35]