|The Stone Age
In the sequence of cultural stages first proposed for the archaeology of the Americas by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in 1958, the Lithic stage was the earliest period of human occupation in the Americas, as post-glacial hunters and collectors spread through the Americas. The stage derived its name from the first appearance of Lithic flaked stone tools. The term Paleo-Indian is an alternative, generally indicating much the same period.
This stage was conceived of as embracing two major categories of stone technology: (1) unspecialized and largely unformulated core and flake industries, with percussion the dominant and perhaps only technique employed, and (2) industries exhibiting more advanced "blade" techniques of stoneworking, with specialized fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic artifact types. Throughout South America, there are stone tool traditions of the lithic stage, such as the "fluted fishtail" that reflect localized adaptations to the diverse habitats of the continent.
The indications and timing of the end of the Lithic stage vary between regions. The use of textiles, fired pottery and start of the gradual replacement of hunter gatherer lifestyles with the use of agriculture and domesticated animals would all be factors. End dates vary, but are around 5,000 to 3,000 BC in many areas. The Archaic stage is the most widely used term for the succeeding stage, but in the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru the Cotton Pre-Ceramic may be used, as in the Norte Chico civilization cultivated cotton seems to have been very important in economic and power relations, from around 3,200 BC.
One of the leading figures is Alex Krieger who has documented hundreds of sites that have yielded crude, percussion-flaked tools. The most convincing evidence for a lithic stage is based upon data recovered from sites in South America where such crude tools have been found and dated to more than 20,000 years ago.
In North America, the time encompasses the Paleo-Indian period that subsequently is divided into more specific time terms such as Early Lithic stage or Early Paleo-Indians and Middle Paleo-Indians or Middle Lithic stage. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups.
The Lithic stage was followed by the Archaic stage.
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- Archaeology of the Americas
- Category:Archaeology of the Americas
- History of Mesoamerica (Paleo-Indian)
- History of the Americas
- Indigenous Amerindian genetics
- South American Indigenous people
- "Method and Theory in American Archaeology" (Digitised online by Questia Media). Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips. University of Chicago. 1958. Retrieved 2009-11-20.; free online text
- Silberman, N.A.; Bauer, A.A. (2012). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. OUP USA. pp. 2–151. ISBN 9780199735785. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- Willey, Gordon R. (1989). "Gordon Willey". In Glyn Edmund Daniel; Christopher Chippindale. The Pastmasters: Eleven Modern Pioneers of Archaeology: V. Gordon Childe, Stuart Piggott, Charles Phillips, Christopher Hawkes, Seton Lloyd, Robert J. Braidwood, Gordon R. Willey, C.J. Becker, Sigfried J. De Laet, J. Desmond Clark, D.J. Mulvaney. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05051-1. OCLC 19750309.
- "Method and Theory in American Archaeology - 1958, Page 79 by Gordon R. Willey, Philip Phillips. | Online Research Library: Questia". questia.com. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- Walthall, J.A. (1990). Prehistoric Indians of the Southeast: Archaeology of Alabama and the Middle South. University of Alabama Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780817305529. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- Gordon R. Willey and Philip Phillips (1957). Method and Theory in American Archaeology. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-89888-9.