Programmes > Par auteur > Arroyo Adrián

Use-wear formation processes on pounding tools: quantifying surface changes using confocal microscopy, 3D techniques and GIS
Adrián Arroyo * , Alfonso Benito Calvo  1@  , Laura Sánchez-Romero  1, 2@  , Michael Pante  3@  , Ignacio De La Torre  4@  
1 : Laboratory of Digital Mapping and 3D Analysis (CENIEH)  -  Site web
Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca 3, 09002 Burgos, Spain -  Espagne
2 : Doctorado Interuniversitario de Evolución Humana, Paleoecología del Cuaternario y Técnicas Geofísicas Aplicadas a la Investigación, Universidad de Burgos  -  Site web
Juan de Austria 1, 09001 Burgos, Spain -  Espagne
3 : Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University  -  Site web
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA -  États-Unis
4 : Institute of Archaeology, University College London  -  Site web
31–34 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PY London, UK -  Royaume-Uni
* : Auteur correspondant

Since the publication of the groundbreaking work produced by Sergei A. Semenov (1964), functional studies of Paleolithic artefacts based on use-wear traces have developed rapidly and have become the main method for inferring the production and use of stone tools. These types of analyses were applied to flaked artefacts, grinding tools from late prehistoric periods, and more recently, to pounding tools from Early Stone Age sites. Despite this focus on use-wear, the criteria used for describing these traces were limited to mostly qualitative attributes observed with microscopes.

In this paper, we will present the results of an experimental programme designed to establish new qualitative and quantitative criteria for the recognition of bone processing activities related to marrow extraction on pounding tools from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania). Our method to study use-wear formation processes on pounding tools (hammerstones and an anvil) is novel and based on a combination of conventional microscopy, optical 3D surface measurements obtained with a confocal microscope, and GIS analysis. This technique has allowed us to obtained high resolution quantitative data and conduct statistically robust analyses of microscopic use-wear traces highlighting the potential of implementing 3D techniques in functional studies of artefacts. Our results are broadly applicable and provide a methodological procedure that can be used for more accurate assessments of the function of archaeological pounding tools.



Semenov, S. A., 1964, Prehistoric technology: an experimental study of the oldest tools and artefacts from traces of manufacture and wear, Cory, Adams & Mackay, London.

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