Humpback Biface- Erie County, OH


The term describes unevenly shaped bifaces from the Late Prehistoric. The crude, bulging side (humpback)  may have had a functional purpose or have been the result of tool hafting.

Humpback bifaces also indicate a shift in lithic tool traditions at the end of the Paleolithic. Humbacks, along with Madison points, are found at many Upper Mississippian sites.  Jeske (1992) believes that these pre-contact communities valued political and social alliances over specialized tool production. This lack of interest may have set the tone for interest in trade items from colonial powers.


  • Jeske, Robert J., and Katherine M. Sterner-Miller. “Microwear analysis of bipolar tools from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site (47JE904).” Lithic Technology 40.4 (2015): 366-376.
  • Jeske, Robert J. “Energetic efficiency and lithic technology: an Upper Mississippian example.” American Antiquity 57.3 (1992): 467-481.
  • Jeske, Robert J. “Langford tradition subsistence, settlement, and technology.” Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology (1990): 221-249.