Are we able to determine the function of the earliest palaeolithic tools?
Microscope examination of neolithic and middle palaeolithic tools shows that the marks on the earlier tools are generally longer and more difficult to interpret. The later tools almost always show more characteristic wear traces. The colder the tool, the more difficult it is to determine the ergonomy. This does not mean that the validity of the results obtained for the earliest tools is in question, but only that the interpretations are more difficult and therefore less precise. All experiments designed to find out how use-wear traces disappear have been carried out with respect to archaeological studies concerned essentially with upper palaeolithic or neolithic material.
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