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How shattered flakes were used: Micro-wear analysis of quartz flake fragments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Archéologie préhistorique / Traceolab, Quai Roosevelt, 1B (Bât. A4).
University of Helsinki. Department of Philosophy, Culture and Art Studies .
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, no 2, 517-531 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Prehistoric quartz assemblages have always posed a special problem for archaeologists. Due to its brittle nature, quartz is hard to understand within lithic classification systems that are based on formally varied flint assemblages. In this paper we explore ways to deal with this problem by applying two analytical methods, fracture analysis and use-wear analysis. A sample of 544 unmodified quartz flakes and flake fragments from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Sweden and Finland was analysed. It can be concluded that both whole and fragmented flakes were used as tools. Larger flakes and flake fragments were preferred as tool blanks and the type of use was correlated to variation in edge qualities rather than the formal characteristics of flakes.

The results of this investigation suggest that making behavioural inferences from quartz assemblages with low formal variability requires the assemblages to be approached with a focus on functional types.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Saunders Elsevier, 2015. no 2, 517-531 p.
Keyword [en]
Prehistoric quartz;, Prehistoric quartz;Fracture analysis;Micro-wear;Used edges; Tool types; Scandinavia
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-263546DiVA: diva2:858572
Available from: 2015-10-02 Created: 2015-10-02 Last updated: 2015-10-02

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