Quaternary International ( IF 2.003 ) Pub Date : 2020-07-31 , DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2020.07.037 João Carlos Moreno de Sousa; Mercedes Okumura
The lack of a standard protocol for analyzing and comparing multiple assemblages of lithic artifacts has hindered the advance of a better understanding of the cultural diversity associated to prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups. This was the case of Brazilian archaeologists that for many decades associated lithic stemmed point assemblages to a cultural entity known as “Umbu Tradition”. However, most associations of assemblages to this “tradition” have been made regardless of the type of lithic points, as well as ignoring other elements related to the lithic industry, settlement patterns, among others. As a result, since the 1980s, several studies have been questioning the validity of such Tradition. Recent research has proposed new definitions for the previously associated Umbu Tradition lithic industries based on the stemmed points typology. However, no raw data on the technological analysis of such points have ever been presented. This article proposes a protocol for the technological study of lithic points that allows the application of descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis to verify if these types present or not significant differences. We present new data on the technological analysis of 501 lithic points from sites located in the supposed Umbu Tradition coverage area and period, as well two new Early Holocene C14 dates for one of the studied sites (Caetetuba site). Our results corroborate previous propositions of discarding Umbu Tradition as a valid cultural entity, as well as new typologies for the points. We also show that our protocol is suitable to unravel potential cultural patterns regarding many attributes in lithic points as well as to explore if there are significant differences among previously defined types.