The first step was to scan the paperwork associated with the collection so that the original paperwork is available for people to view. The experimenters’ notes included detailed descriptions of their experiments using the lithic flakes or tool and hand-drawn images or photographs of the prehension (how the tool was held).
We then standardized the relevant data associated with the use-wear experiments from the paperwork, and we created an online searchable database. The database was created using Microsoft Access. Each entry has a unique identification code that is based on the experimenter’s initials, their tool ID number, and year of experiment. Future experiments will be coded by worked material, year, and unique sequential number.
This image is an example of the experiment form and tool used.
Colleen uses the Nikon SMZ-10 stereomicroscope with incident lighting to identify the diagnostic use-wear associated with each experiment.
Once identified, she views the flake or tool under the Bausch & Lomb StereoZoom 7 stereomicroscope with incident lighting. The Olympus SC30 camera is attached to this microscope in order to photograph the use-wear. After photographing the use-wear, Colleen labels the image based on the ventral or dorsal side and polar-coordinate where the use-wear is located.
After all of the tools and flakes have been identified and photographed using the low-power microscopes, Colleen will then use the Olympus BH metallurgical microscope with reflected light to identify the wear. This microscope and photographs will show polish formation and striations.
Finally, when the database is available for the public, one can search by any aspect of an experiment. This includes, but is not limited to, worked material, raw material (what the stone tool is made of), action or motion (chopping, scraping, cutting, etc), and specific use-wear attributes (polish, termination type, etc.)