Pebble Tools and Time Factoring

Symposium Paper
Canadian Journal of Archaeology/Journal canadien d'archéologie 3:165-175 (1979)


Pebble tool assemblages have for many years been one of the more puzzling lithic classes in the Pacific Northwest. They have been viewed as chronological markers, as indicators of task-specific sites, and as remains of distinct cultural entities. They sometimes seem to be the only visible part of certain regional site components, whereas at other times a variety of lithic tools accompanies the pebble tool complex. Assemblages of both kinds have been recorded and examined by the writer in both littoral and upland sites. Pebble tools need not be chronological markers. While coastline changes may have occurred in post glacial times, several of these sites have always been within a few hundred meters of a coast though the elevations above sea level have changed. Experiments are underway to determine pebble tool utility in different tasks. Context and association are variables that must be controlled before temporal factors can be expressed.