use-wear analysis

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Microscopic analysis of the surfaces and working edges of artefacts to detect signs of wear, damage, or residue caused by their use. The work is generally done using high‐powered microscopes, and may involve replication studies to allow the comparison of traces of known cause with observed patterns on ancient material. The technique is mainly applied to flint and stone tools. Considerable success has been achieved in detecting evidence for sawing, cutting, and piercing.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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