Stemp, James Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Keene State College, Kenne, New Hampshire.
- History of functional analysis
- Work by Sergei Semenov
- Low-power approach
- High-power approach
- Scanning electron microscopy
- Quantification of use-wear
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Lithic use-wear or microwear analysis is the examination of surfaces on experimental or archeological stone tools to determine tool use. Primarily used to determine the functions of chipped stone tools, in particular those produced on silicates such as chert, flint, quartz, and obsidian, it also has been used on ground stone artifacts as well. It typically involves the use of equipment to magnify surfaces so that features such as edge chipping, striations or scratches, and abrasion or polish can be more easily observed, interpreted, and recorded. Traditionally, archeologists have relied on optical microscopes to analyze stone tools. However, new technology, in the form of digital imaging of surfaces and measurement of surface microtopography using lasers, is changing the manner in which lithic use-wear analysis is done.
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