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Use-wear analysis: An optimal methodology for the study of shell tools

Abstract : The analysis of tools made on animal hard tissues, especially shells, has been of little interest to archaeology, especially compared to stone and bone tools. The analysis of use-wear on shell tools has had an even lesser impact despite this methodology's potential. This lack of interest is in stark contrast to the large amount of ethnographic evidence showing the great range of tool uses given to shells throughout the world. There is also a growing amount of archaeological evidence showing the use of shell tools in a variety of chronological contexts. In the present study, we show the potential of use-wear analysis in the study of shell tools, adapting some of the methodology's features developed by S.A. Semenoy to the specific characteristics of these materials. Finally, we discuss this methodology's contribution to the understanding of prehistoric lifestyles, especially with regard to the development of manufacturing activities and the toolkits used to carry out these processes
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01245162
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 6:25:55 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 1:13:43 AM

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David Cuenca-Solana, Igor Gutiérrez-Zugasti, Manuel R González-Morales. Use-wear analysis: An optimal methodology for the study of shell tools. Quaternary International, Elsevier, 2017, 427 (Part A), pp.192-200. ⟨10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.090⟩. ⟨hal-01245162⟩

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