Type of Document Thesis Author Bissett, Thaddeus G. URN etd-09172003-170129 Title Morphologocal Variation Of Bolen Haftable Bifaces: Function And Style Among Chipped-Stone Artifacts From The Early Holocene Southeast Degree Master of Science Department Anthropology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Michael K. Faught Committee Chair Glen H. Doran Committee Member William A. Parkinson Committee Member Keywords
- Bolen Artifact
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe data sample analyzed during this research project was compiled for the purpose of
providing both dimensional and morphological information that would enable as complete and
detailed an analysis as possible of the 200 Bolen haftable bifaces from the Hill Collection. At
issue were both the functional and stylistic elements of this artifact type, which has been
identified at archaeological sites around the lower southeastern United States, but specifically
in Florida, where the type name “Bolen” is most broadly applied. By examining a combination
of measurements and discrete attributes, this research was able to expand the understanding
of this tool type, both functionally and stylistically.
The Bolen artifact type can be characterized as a notched, bifacial chipped stone “projectile point” type first identified in 1958 in northern Florida, and has been dated from multiple contexts to the early Holocene period (10,100 to 9000 radiocarbon years B.P.).
By analysis of the database produced through measurement and scoring of the available
artifacts, this research project resulted in not only quantification of distinctions between the
functional and stylistic segments of Bolen bifaces (the blade and the haft, respectively), but also in new methodological approaches for the description of the basal attributes of these
artifacts. Some of these, relating to notch form and basal ears, can potentially be applied to
other artifact types.
Bolens were most likely produced as the replaceable element in a composite, multifunctioanl tool, based on the standardized dimensions of the haft demonstrated by analysis
of measurements of the bases of the artifacts, and the and on the examination of the distribution
of edge angles and blade dimensions. There is available, but minimal, evidence that they may have occasionally found use as projectile points (based on the observed impact fractures). Finally, by analyzing the patterning of discrete attributes defined and scored for this collection, relative to their area of origin, there is some basis for suggesting that Bolens
exhibit certain regional preferences for specific stylistic attributes, geographically. This could
be the result of geographical or social boundaries, time period, or functional considerations.
Due to the apparent concentration of some attributes in single areas, it seems likely that the former two are possible, although conclusions are necessarily tentative, due to the nature of
the data sample as a part of a private artifact collection.
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