Technological-typological analysis of the chipped industry

Technological-typological analysis of the chipped industry

Since 1865, when a British antiquarian John Lubbock in his book called Pre-historic Times divided the Stone Age into older Palaeolithic and Younger Neolithic (Lubbock 1865), the lithic knapped industry has been conceived as one of the key sources of our knowledge about the material culture, which helps our better understanding of long disappeared prehistoric cultures. The lithics appeared already at the beginning of the humankind and remains one of the main type of artefacts till the Bronze Age and it was not until the arrival of iron metallurgy, which finally replaced former used stone tools. However, the lithics are the key, and in the case of some sites even the only, source of information especially for the periods of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. Therefore, exactly the specialised focused on these periods have developed and gradually improved methods of description and analysis of lithic knapped artefacts. These methods were focus on their production (technology), on their appearance (typology), as well as on their function (use-wear analysis).

The beginnings of the lithic analysis can be found especially in the publications of the French scholars, such as Édouard Lartet, Gabriel de Mortillet, Édouard Piette, Émile Cartailhac, Denis Peyrony, or Henry Breuil. However, the first comprehensive and basically up to date valid typological system was published after the WW2 by another French archaeologist François Bordes for the Lower and Middle Palaeolitic (1961) and by Denise Sonneville-Bordes and Jean Perrot for the Upper Palaeolithic (1954; 1955; 1956a and 1956b). Development of these typological systems enabled statistical analyses of larger lithic collection. This typological system was later adjusted by other authors for particular periods and regions. As an example, it is possible to mention works of B. Klíma (1956) for the Moravian Pavlovian, S.K. Kozlowski (1980) for the European Mesolithic microliths or I. Mateiciucová (2008) for Central European Early Neolithic lithics. However, the lithic industry, its typology and technology are discussed in most of the publications devoted to various prehistoric sites. Manuals and textbooks published in different languages present basic information concerning lithic description, technology, raw materials and sometimes also use wear analyses and means of usage of stone tools. Among the English written literature, it is possible to mention for example a manual by W. Andrefski Jr. (2005) and also a book by G.H. Oddel (2003), or an older publication by H.L. Movius Jr. et al. (1968). Among German written works, it is possible to mention for example a collective monograph titled Steinartefakte, edited by H. Floss (2012) and among French written books it is for example a publication titled: “Technologie de la pierre taillée “by Inizan et al. (1995), which was also translated into English (Inizan et al., 1999).

In the frame of the lithic analyses we offer complex services from a taking delivery of a collection, through a raw material determination (macroscopical or microscopical), technological analysis (determination of technological categories, core types, butt types etc.), typological analysis (particular tool types representation, statistic analysis and a comparison with another similar collection of the same age in a region) to a handover of a final expert report.

Lithic analyses in the ERCA are conducted by Mgr. Ondřej Mlejnek, PhD. (born 1982), who is a specialist in the field of Central European Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. O. Mlejnek has already during his scientific career analysed lithic collections for example from the sites of Tvarožná I (Aurignacian, Mlejnek, 2010), Vítovice (Aurignacian, Mlejnek, 2012), Skalka (Aurignacian, Mlejnek, Škrdla, 2014), Želeč/Ondratice I (IUP, Mlejnek et al. 2012) and from many other sites in the Prostějov area (Mlejnek 2008; 2015), from Uhersko in eastern Bohemia (Mesolithic, Mlejnek, Záhorák, 2020) or from Hlinsko in central Moravia (Aurignacian, Mlejnek, 2020). Apart of these collections, he has also analysed several other assemblages dated to the Neolithic and Eneolithic (Pustějov in Silesia, Hlinsko in central Moravia or Horní Dolce in eastern Bohemia).



Andrefsky, W., Jr. 2005: Lithics. Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis, Second Edition.

Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge.

Bordes, F., 1961: Typologie du paléolithique ancien et moyen. Bordeaux.

de Sonneville-Bordes, D., Perrot, J., 1954: Lexique typologique du Paléolithique supérieur, outillage lithique: 1. Grattoirs, 2. Outils solutréens. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 51 327-335.

de Sonneville-Bordes, D., Perrot, J., 1955: Lexique typologique du Paléolithique supérieur, outillage lithique: III: Outils composites, perçoir. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 52 76–79.

de Sonneville-Bordes, D., Perrot, J., 1956a: Lexique typologique du Paléolithique supérieur, outillage lithique: IV: Burins. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 53(1), 408-412.

de Sonneville-Bordes, D., Perrot, J., 1956b: Lexique typologique du Paléolithique supérieur, outillage lithique (suite et fin): V: Outillage à bord abattu VI: Pièces tronquées VII: Lames retouchées VIII: Pièces variées IX: Outillage lamellaire, Pointe azilienne. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 53,2, 547–559.

Floss, H. (ed.) 2012: Steinartefakte. Vom Altpaläolithikum bis in die Neuzeit. Tübingen Publications in Prehistory. Kerns Verlag, Tübingen.

Inizan, M.-L., Roche, H., Tixier, J. 1995. Technologie de la pierre taillée. Préhistoire de la pierre taillée, 4, Meudon. Préhistoire de la pierre taillée, 5, CREP, Nanterre.

Inizan, M.-L., Reduron-Ballinger, M., Roche, H., Tixier, J, Féblot-Augustins, J. 1999: Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone.

Klíma, B., 1956: Statistická metoda – pomůcka při hodnocení paleolitických kamenných industrií. Návrh české terminologie mladopaleolitických kamenných nástrojů. Památky archeologické 47. 193-210.

Kozłowski, S. K. 1980: Atlas of the Mesolithic in Europe, First Generation Maps. Varšava.

Lubbock, J., 1865: Pre-historic times. as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. London, Edinburgh.

Mateiciucová, I. 2008: Talking stones. The Chipped Stone Industry in Lower Austria and Moravia and the Beginnings of the Neolithic in Central Europe (LBK), 5700-4900 BC. Dissertationes Archaeologicae Brunenses/Pragensesque 4. Brno.

Mlejnek, O. 2008: Nové sběry paleolitické štípané industrie ze střední Moravy. Acta Mus. Moraviae, Sci. soc. 93, 51-68.

Mlejnek, O. 2010: Tvarožná I, stanice vyvinutého aurignacienu na Moravě. Acta Mus. Moraviae, Sci. soc. 95/1, 17-50.

Mlejnek, O. 2012: Mladopaleolitické sídliště v Rousínově-Vítovicích. Acta Musei Moraviae, sci. soc. 97/1, 45-56.

Mlejnek, O. 2015: Paleolit východních svahů Drahanské vrchoviny. Dissertationes Archaeologicae Brunenses/Pragensesque 18. Brno.

Mlejnek, O. 2020: Zpráva o záchranném výzkumu mladopaleolitického sídliště v Hlinsku u Lipníka nad Bečvou. Přehled výzkumů 61-1.

Mlejnek, O., Škrdla, P. 2014: Paleolitická lokalita Skalka u Prostějova I – Na Skalkách [Palaeolithic site Skalka u Prostějova I – Na Skalkách], Acta Musei Moraviae, sci. soc. 99/2, 159-167.

Mlejnek, O., Škrdla, P., Přichystal, A. 2012: Ondratice I/Želeč – An Early Upper Palaeolithic Site in Central Moravia, Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 42/3, 295-314.

Mlejnek, O., Záhorák, V.  2020: Předběžná zpráva o výzkumu mezolitické a pozdně paleolitické lokality u Uherska ve východních Čechách. Ročenka Archeologického centra Olomouc 2018, 50-66.

Movius, H.L. Jr., David, N.C., Bricker, H.M., Clay, R.B. 1968: The Analysis of Certain Major Classes of Upper Palaeolithic Tools. American School of Prehistoric Research. Peabody Museum, Harvard University. Bulletin No. 26. Edited by Hugh Hencken. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Odell, G.H. 2003: Lithic Analysis. Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory, and Technique. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Sklenář, K. 1989: Archeologický slovník. Část 1. Kamenné artefakty. Praha.


Křišťálové jádro mezolitického stáří z lokality u Uherka ve východních Čechách. Foto: Vít Záhorák


Mikroskopická fotografie mikrolitického trojúhelníku z mezolitické lokality u Uherska ve východních Čechách s detailem impaktu. Foto: Ondřej Mlejnek


Fotografie vybraných nástrojů z mezolitické lokality u Uherska ve východních Čechách. a) čepelky s otupeným bokem, b) rydla, c) škrabadla, d) mikrolitické trojúhelníky. Foto: M. Kršková.