0029 - CAA2016 - Nick Waber

Wireless Lithics: An Open Hardware Approach to Stroke Quantification and Replicability in Lithic Use-wear Experiments

Waber, Nick

University of British Columbia

Use gesture is an integral aspect of any technology, yet it is one of the most poorly understood and most under-recorded components of many lithic use-wear experiments. In experimental contexts, task-related gestures are most often glossed under the catch-all term “stroke”, and are counted, and then compared to other “strokes”, often without any further definition. This paper proposes a method for recording and measuring “strokes” in an objective, replicable manner. Using a combination of a “lithic odometer” use-life index and a hand-held Arduino-based digital force gauge, it is possible to precisely quantify what constitutes a “stroke”, and what the “strokes” mean regarding a tool's use-life history.

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