Australian flaked stone tools: a technological perspective
Australian flaked stone technologies are examined from a flintknapper's perspective. We identify six different flaking techniques in the archaeological collections, but only a single reduction sequence. The five stages of this sequence are described in detail and it is demonstrated that Australian technologies are highly opportunistic. We examine major classes of Australian flaked stone artefacts—adzes, backed artefacts, burins, points, "scrapers", "utilized flakes"—from a technological perspective. We conclude that most morphological variation within these broad classes is not the result of deliberate design. We also note that "backing" is simply the application of already-known bipolar technology to small flakes, and that more precise use-wear studies are needed to determine that "scrapers" and "utilized flakes" were actually used as tools.