The Lithic Microwear and Technology Laboratory houses one of the largest lithic use-wear comparative collections. This collection was originally compiled by Dr. George Odell from the 1980’s through 2011 and has been further enhanced with the comparative collection amassed by Dr. Danielle Macdonald. Each of the tools in this collection is accompanied by carefull documentation detailing everything from the raw material, to the worked material, to the type of action, and more. Currently, a digitization project is under way to create an online, searchable, database of this collection including pictures of the wear accumulated on each tool.
While the United States Midwest comprises the bulk of this raw material comparative collection, it also contains samples from around the globe. Each of the samples is carefully documented by location, and type, with several sources showing the range of variability found. The collection contains two research components: 1) An organized display of each raw material sample, and 2) Bulk samples of most materials for additional experimentation. With over 1,300 raw material types, this comprehensive collection enables research into raw material sourcing, heat treating, experimental replication, and use-wear studies.