This paper discusses the significance of Acheulian stone tool technology and how use-wear analysis is used to determine the function of an ancient tool.
Significance of Acheulian Stone Tool Technology
Kelly & Thomas (2012) identify a number of ways in which Acheulian stone tool technology is significant. First, it helps in getting almost an exact date of the tools through the analysis of the mudstones and determining their magnetic dates. Archeologists determine the exact period when the tools were in use through magnetic dates. Acheulian stone tools are systematic and more recognizable thus making the understanding of the activities of early human more realistic. Secondly, the technology can be useful in mapping out the migratory roots of the early man to establish the movement of humans from their original places to other parts of the world. The technology is also useful in understanding how early humans interacted with their environment and the possible reason for the migration. Finally, the technology is likely to establish the kind of human species that migrated from one region to the other and the cultural differences among early human species.
How Use Wear Analysis may Suggest Ancient Tool Function
Use-wear analysis conducts a close study on the surfaces and edges of an ancient tool. The analysis utilizes high-powered microscope to observe the edge of a tool and note identifiable characteristics such as wear and damage that are associated with certain kind of function. The functions common to most of the ancient tools include sawing, cutting, and piercing. Central to the utilization of use-wear analysis is the ability to identify the variation in the tool edge damage. Since most of the ancient tools were either more or less similar in functionality, identifying the level of edge damage helps in distinguishing different kinds of functions. For instance, a tool used in scrapping animal skins would probably have less edge damage than the one used in cutting down woods for lighting fire. Keeley (1980) notes that edge damage can be differentiated by using initiation and propagation means. Use-wear analysis thus uses the tool edge damage and wear as the main identifiable characteristics on ancient tools that directly point to particular usage.