Spring 2020 - ARCH 485 D100

Lithic Technology (5)

Class Number: 7130

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SWH 9084, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Dennis Sandgathe
    Office: EDB 9611
    Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:30-1:30PM & Thursdays 12:00-1:00PM
  • Prerequisites:

    ARCH 372.



An in-depth study of how to manufacture and analyze stone tools. Includes rock and mineral identification, stone working by students, fracture mechanics, and relevance to theoretical problems.


This course is an examination of prehistoric stone tool technology, from its simplest forms adopted by early hominins in Africa through the development of increasingly sophisticated technologies used in the Old and New Worlds. Closer examinations will be made of the lithic technologies and culture histories of Europe and North America. Basic components of the course will be: a review of the history of stone tool research and early approaches to lithic analysis, but the major components will be an examination of current approaches to lithic research (including the construction of typologies, stone tool replicative research, technological analysis, debitage analysis, and functional analysis) and an examination of the basic lithic strategies employed by prehistoric cultures. Students will also be provided with a basic knowledge of stone tool raw material (rock) types and properties, and time will be spent with both theoretical and hands-on learning of the physics and mechanics of flaking stone and manufacturing specific tool types. Some of the labs will be spent learning to flint knap and manufacturing simple stone tools.


  • Exercises and Quizzes 35%
  • Participation 15%
  • Term Project 30%
  • Take Home Exam 20%



Andrefsky, William Jr. 2005. Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press.
ISBN: 978-0-5216-1500-6


Supplementary Readings: The text will be supplemented with articles on different aspects of stone tool research.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html