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Applied force as a determining factor in lithic use-wear accrual: an experimental investigation of its validity as a method with which to infer hominin upper limb biomechanics

Key, Alastair J. M. (2013) Applied force as a determining factor in lithic use-wear accrual: an experimental investigation of its validity as a method with which to infer hominin upper limb biomechanics. Lithic Technology, 38 (1). pp. 32-45. ISSN 0197-7261. (doi:10.1179/0197726113Z.0000000001) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/0197726113Z.0000000001

Abstract

The advent of flake technology represented a fundamental shift in the capability of hominins to effectively access and process animal food sources. As such, the efficiency with which these tools were utilized is often widely implicated in palaeoanthropological debate, most pertinently, with regards to the evolution of upper limb biomechanics. Hence, it would then be of significance if the force, and by association efficiency, with which these tools were used is able to be determined. Presented here is the first attempt to correlate the force with which flaked tools are used to the associated microwear polish accrued on the lithics worked edge. This would potentially allow biomechanical inferences to be taken from stone artifacts and subsequently be applied to the populations that were using them. Twenty five participants of varying strength carried out a simple cutting task using small, unhafted flakes made from English chalk flint. Both maximum and mean applied force was recorded during these tasks by a sensor placed under the worked material while all other variables, including stroke count and flake size, were controlled for. Lithic polish was quantified through seven textural analyses of SEM micrographs. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant relationships between lithic polish and both maximum and mean applied force at low levels of variation. It is, however, suggested that given more archaeologically inferable experimental conditions then polish accrual may have displayed higher developmental distinctions, thus allowing lithic wear to differentiate between applied forces.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1179/0197726113Z.0000000001
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: A.J.M. Key
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2015 13:23 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/50474 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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