Scrapers

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"Scrapers ... are unifacially retouched tools with a steep, wide-angled edge that is suitable for a number of tasks, including scraping hides, planing wood or bone, and cutting like a knife" (Whittaker 1994:27[1])

Scrapers are the most common type of tool found from the Middle Palaeolithic onwards. Any tool with scraper retouch on any edge, or combination of edges is a scraper.


There are two main classes of scrapers: end scrapers and side scrapers

 

End scrapers


Scrapers that are made on the end of a flake or blade. The retouched end may be the proximal end or the distal end, but the vast majority of end scrapers are made on the distal end, as this does not require the removal of the bulb of percussion. End scrapers are further defined by the shape of the retouched end, being either concave, straight or convex.

When an end scraper has been made on a flake that is wider than it is long, it is sometimes referred to as a transverse scraper.

 

Convex end scraper


End scraper which has a retouched end that is convex in form.

Transverse scraper


An end scraper made on a flake that is wider than it is long.


Straight end scraper


An end scraper which has a retouched end that is straight in form.
If the tool blank is a blade, and the retouch is abrupt retouch rather than scraper retouch it would be called a truncated blade.

 

Straight end scraper on a flake


An end scraper which has a retouched end that is straight in form, made on a blank that is a flake.
If the tool blank is a flake, and the retouch is abrupt retouch rather than scraper retouch it would be called a truncated flake.

Also see Brézillon 1977:122[2]. on types of truncation


Concave end scraper

End scraper which has a retouched end that is concave in form.


Concave end scraper on a flake


An end scraper which has a retouched end that is straight in form, made on a blank that is a flake.


Side scrapers


Scrapers that are made on the side of a flake or blade. The retouched side may be the left edge or the right edge, or even on both in which case it would be called a double side scraper.Side scrapers are further defined by the shape of the retouched edge, being either concave, straight or convex.Side scrapers may be made on blanks that are blades or flakes.


More categories: double end etc


References

  1. Whittaker, J.C. 1994. Flint knapping: making and understanding stone tools. University of Texas Press, Austin.
  2. Brézillon, Michel 1977 La Denomination des Objets de Pierre Taillee. IVe Supplement à Gallia Prehistoire. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Paris.