Project Title

Experimental Replication and Use Determination for the Expanded Base Microlith

Presenter Hometown

Harrodsburg, KY

Major

Anthropology

Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Jon Endonino

Mentor Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Abstract

Experimental Replication and Use Determination for the Expanded Base Microlith

By

Eliza Goodlett and Jon C. Endonino

Since their discovery at the Lake Monroe Outlet Midden (8VO53) site in 1998, the original intended purpose and function of the expanded base microlith (EBM) has puzzled archaeologists and there is disagreement surrounding how these tools were used. Some argued that they were drills and others that they were multipurpose tools. We replicated EBMs using aboriginal methods inferred from archaeological materials from the site and deployed them in a series of common activities: drilling, scraping, and engraving. Replicating their use created wear patterns that differed between activities. Replicas were then subjected to microscopic analysis to identify wear patterns for each activity. Having established a baseline of wear patterns, we then examined archaeological specimens from the Lake Monroe Outlet Midden and compared these to the experimental dataset. Based on the comparison of experimental wear patterns to those on archaeological specimens we created a composite profile of tool function and contributed to determining the function of the EBM.

Presentation format

Poster

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Experimental Replication and Use Determination for the Expanded Base Microlith

Experimental Replication and Use Determination for the Expanded Base Microlith

By

Eliza Goodlett and Jon C. Endonino

Since their discovery at the Lake Monroe Outlet Midden (8VO53) site in 1998, the original intended purpose and function of the expanded base microlith (EBM) has puzzled archaeologists and there is disagreement surrounding how these tools were used. Some argued that they were drills and others that they were multipurpose tools. We replicated EBMs using aboriginal methods inferred from archaeological materials from the site and deployed them in a series of common activities: drilling, scraping, and engraving. Replicating their use created wear patterns that differed between activities. Replicas were then subjected to microscopic analysis to identify wear patterns for each activity. Having established a baseline of wear patterns, we then examined archaeological specimens from the Lake Monroe Outlet Midden and compared these to the experimental dataset. Based on the comparison of experimental wear patterns to those on archaeological specimens we created a composite profile of tool function and contributed to determining the function of the EBM.