An Experimental Study of Lithic Use-wear Multi-stage Formation

Author(s): Hong Chen; Chen Shen; Xiaoling Zhang

Year: 2015


Use-wear analysis has become an essential method for the functional study of lithic artifacts from archaeological assemblages. However, research concerning multi-stage use-wear formation is poorly developed. In this paper, we report the results of an experimental study focusing on flake scar patterns, rounding and polish formation in multiple stages. For comparative data and interpretation, nine cases of single working tasks were undertaken on scraping bone with Onondaga chert from Ontario Lake. The resulting flake scars and abrasive wear were observed separately in each stage and photomicrograph were taken and compared to compare the changing trajectory of use-wear formation. This experiment clearly demonstrates that flake scar formation does not correspond to the rate of usage over time and we propose that the formation of scar patterns and rounding become diagnostic attributes for use-wear observation. Flake scar fractures occur most frequently in the early stages. During later stages, flake scars stopped developing while rounding and polish became more apparent. The study also examines the changing trajectory and rate of scar invasiveness and length of use. The results are informative as it is suggested that scar invasiveness grew as the use time increased at a given working angle.

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Cite this Record

An Experimental Study of Lithic Use-wear Multi-stage Formation. Hong Chen, Xiaoling Zhang, Chen Shen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397049)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;