7th Experimental Archaeology Conference Poster Abstract – Debanjan Mitra et al

Use-Wear Parameters of the Shahabad Limestone Flake Tools: An Experimental Approach

Debanjan Mitra(1), Dr. Vijay Sathe(1) and Dr. Prakash Sinha(2)

1Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune – 6

2University of Allahabad, Allahabad

Use-wear analysis has been one of the key investigative methods to discern the functional aspects of prehistoric tools and provide a more empirical perspective of typological classification. Use-wear patterns are governed by several depending factors and vary largely with the changing geological contexts. The use-wear patterns are highly sensitive to changes in the mineralogy of raw-materials. Hence, it is utterly crucial to establish standard parameter for different raw materials and their varied contexts.

In the Indian context, limited attempts have been made in this front. This project attempted to create a parameter to calibrate the use-wear patterns of the Indian Palaeolithic tools made on limestone. The focus of the work has been on the Shahabad limestone which has been exploited optimally by the Palaeolithic tool-makers of Hunsgi-Baichbal valley. The limestone has been collected from the Isampur provenance to retain an analogical parameter for the archaeological record. Carcass processing of Bubalus bubalis was carried out using the flake tools made of the Shahabad limestone in a controlled laboratory environment. The experimented samples were observed and analysed under both low and high power microscopy to determine the edge-damage and polish patterns. Several parameters like edge angle and activity have provided further categorical results. This experiment will definitely open a new space for understanding and determining the functional aspects of the Palaeolithic tools made on Shahabad limestone, both in synchronic and diachronic perspectives.

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