Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Applied Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

David Byers


experimental archaeology, heat treatment, Ozark prehistory, Burlington chert, Jefferson City chert

Subject Categories



During the prehistoric period in the Ozarks, people used several raw material types for stone tool production, two of which are Burlington and Jefferson City cherts. Burlington chert is typically considered a poorer quality chert than Jefferson City chert for stone tool production. I hypothesize that people heat-treated Burlington as well as Jefferson City chert to improve the flaking qualities of the cherts. Ideally, the process of heat treatment improved the flaking qualities of the raw materials by exposing the raw material to heat for an extended period of time. I tested the knapping characteristics of heat treated Burlington chert, heat treated Jefferson City chert, untreated Burlington chert, and untreated Jefferson City chert in an archaeological heat treatment experiment. My results suggest that heat treatment improves the flaking properties of Burlington and Jefferson City cherts when compared to unheated specimens. Using these results, I evaluated the use of Burlington and Jefferson City chert in the Ozark archaeological record.


© Craig Matthew Picka

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