The conjoin sequence diagram: a method of describing conjoin sets


  • Peter Hiscock Department of Anthropology & Sociology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072



Conjoin analysis involves physically fitting back together objects broken in antiquity.  Objects which are refitted are said to be 'conjoined', and a number conjoined together are called a 'conjoin set'. Conjoin analyses of stone artefacts began over a century ago with the work of Spurrell (1980; 1984). Subsequently, this approach has been used for a number of purposes. Cahen and colleagues used the vertical separation of conjoined artefacts to measure the extent of post-depositional displacement at Old World sites (Cahen 1978; Cahen and Moyersons 1977; Cahen et al 1979; Van Noten et al 1980). A number of researchers have used conjoin data to discuss the horizontal movement of humans and their debris across living floors (eg. Leroi-Gourhan and Brezillon 1966, 1972; Frison 1968, 1974; Van Noten, et al 1980; Singer 1984). Discussions of artefact breakage have often been accompanied by drawings of refitted fragments (eg. Lenoir 1975; Mallouf 1982). By providing information about sequential blows applied to a core, conjoin analysis has also aided in the reconstruction of the knapping process (eg. Kobayashi 1970; Frison 1974; Van Noten 1975; Fasham and Ross 1978; Leach 1984). In Australia, conjoin analysis has been used to examine vertical displacement (eg. Stern 1980) and to assist reconstruction of prehistoric stoneworking technology (eg. Noetling 1908; Luebbers 1978; Witter 1977).