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Evaluating the effect of force and duration on lithic use­wear using a force­ and impedance ­controlled robot

Author(s): Radu Iovita ; Johannes Pfleging ; Jonas Buchli

Year: 2017

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Use­wear analysis relies on the strength of the analogy between microscopic wear patterns produced in

laboratory experiments and those present on archaeological tools. Unfortunately, the physical processes that

control the production of these patterns, both in the lab and in the past, are subject to complex interactions.

One approach to reducing this complexity is to isolate factors (duration, material properties, or dynamics) that

influence wear patterns and try to identify their contribution. An important issue concerns the

possibility that wear on tools thought to have been used for a long time may in fact reflect

use with a higher force, as both factors should, in theory, affect wear (e.g., Key et al. 2014, JAMT).

We present results from experiments using a KUKA LWR­iiwa force­ and impedance-

controlled robot to scrape beech plates. The input data for controlling the robot (force, torque, velocity,

position) were obtained from a dynamically monitored scraping experiment performed by humans

(Pfleging et al., 2015, PLoS One). Because of the high level of control, we are able to systematically vary the

duration and force and investigate their effect on the wear patterns, which are quantified via 3­D surface

metrological methods using a focus­ variation instrument from Alicona.

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Evaluating the effect of force and duration on lithic use­wear using a force­ and impedance ­controlled robot. Radu Iovita, Johannes Pfleging, Jonas Buchli. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430549)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16484

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America