Micro-abrasion of flint artifacts by mobile sediments: a taphonomic approach

Original Paper


Fluvial redeposition of stone artifacts is a major complicating factor in the interpretation of Lower Palaeolithic open-air archaeological sites. However, the microscopic examination of lithic surfaces may provide valuable background information on the transport history of artifacts, particularly in low energy settings. Replica flint artifacts were therefore abraded in an annular flume and examined with a scanning electron microscope. Results showed that abrasion time, sediment size, and artifact transport mode were very sensitive predictors of microscopic surface abrasion, ridge width, and edge damage (p < 0.000). These results suggest that patterns of micro-abrasion of stone artifacts may enhance understanding of archaeological assemblage formation in fluvial contexts


Fluvial processes Micro-abrasion Flaked stone taphonomy SEM Flint 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUniversity of Southampton Waterfront Campus European WaySouthamptonUK

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