Usewear analysis is now well established as a powerful means by which to identify the function of stone tools excavated from archaeological sites. However, one of the main issues for usewear analysts is still to provide quantified analyses and interpretations. Several attempts have yielded promising results but have not, as of yet, been widely applied and usewear analyses are still mainly performed using either Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or Optical Light Microscopy (OLM). The systematic comparison of micrographs from both types of microscope presented here enables us to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each system. Furthermore, it shows beginners or experts using only one type of microscope that these techniques are complementary and should be considered as such. It also represents a significant basis for developing the implementation of quantitative methods for usewear analysis with SEM and OLM.
Via Dorian Q Fuller