Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 805–816 | Cite as

Micro-photogrammetric and morphometric differentiation of cut marks on bones using metal knives, quartzite, and flint flakes

  • Miguel Ángel Maté-GonzálezEmail author
  • Juan Francisco Palomeque-González
  • José Yravedra
  • Diego González-Aguilera
  • Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo
Original Paper


In a previous article, we presented an innovative method to analyze cut marks produced with metal tools on animal bones from a metrical and tridimensional perspective (Maté-González et al. 2015). Such analysis developed a low-cost alternative technique to traditional microscopic methods for the tridimensional reconstruction of marks, using their measurements and sections. This article presents the results of an experimental study to test this photogrammetric and morphometric method for differentiating cut marks generated with metal, flint, and quartzite flakes. The results indicate statistically significant differences among cut marks produced by these three types of raw material. These results encourage the application of this method to archeological assemblages in order to establish a link between carcass processing and lithic reduction sequences on different raw materials and also to define the kind of tools used during butchery.


Taphonomy Cut marks Micro-photogrammetry Computer vision Image-based modeling Raw material 



The authors would like to thank the TIDOP Group from the Department of Cartographic and Land Engineering of the High Polytechnics School of Ávila, University of Salamanca, for the use of tools and facilities. We also want to thank Jesús de Vicente y Oliva, industrial engineer and teacher at the Polytechnics University of Madrid, for his help. We also want to thank Aixa Vidal for the translation and revision of this paper. We would like to recognize the technical support provided by C.A.I. Arqueometry and archeological analysis from Complutense University, which have been very useful to carry out the present work. Finally, we express our gratitude to the anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Ángel Maté-González
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Juan Francisco Palomeque-González
    • 3
  • José Yravedra
    • 3
    • 4
  • Diego González-Aguilera
    • 2
  • Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.C.A.I. Arqueometría y Análisis ArqueológicoComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Cartography and Terrain Engineering, Polytechnic School of AvilaUniversity of SalamancaAvilaSpain
  3. 3.Department of PrehistoryComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  4. 4.Museo de los OrígenesIDEA (Institute of Evolution in Africa)MadridSpain

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