A (re)touchy subject: Using bone to shape stone during the Middle Palaeolithic

The use of organic materials, such as bone, wood and antler, has been identified throughout various Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic contexts. Through detailed archaeological investigations and experimental approaches it is has been demonstrated that these objects were frequently used to shape and retouch lithic artefacts. New research published in Quaternary International provides the first…

Is the accuracy of lithic use-wear studies unacceptable?

Stone tools are frequently examined microscopically to locate, identify and interpret use-wear traces.  Since the 1970s lithic assemblages have been studied this way by various labs, using different microscopic techniques to reconstruct their functions. However, the objective nature of these analyses can be, and have been, questioned and a recent paper by Adrian Evans stresses…