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Modelling tribological processes to examine the use-intensity of Bronze Age palstave axes

Modelling tribological processes to examine the use-intensity of Bronze Age palstave axes
Modelling tribological processes to examine the use-intensity of Bronze Age palstave axes
Historically, wear on metal artefacts has not received as much attention as other material types, e.g., lithics and bone. This is reflected in the slow development of materials science approaches, quantitative analysis, and robust systematic methodologies, in the field of metal use-wear investigation. Furthermore, research has been focused, almost exclusively, around the functionality of objects.

This project is a response to the gaps that exist within the experimental protocol of the aforementioned field, investigating a new dimension of use – the sum amount sustained by the artefact – which has been termed the ‘use-intensity’. To test this new directive, replica Bronze Age palstave axes were subjected to systematic wear in laboratory settings by repetitive wood-cutting in an ‘impact tower’. An algorithm in the rig was used to assess the optimum sharpening interval, at which point the axes were resharpened, and the experimental phase repeated. Sequential and quantitative examination by Vickers hardness testing demonstrated an incremental increase in hardness of the axe blades due to both use and sharpening.

The results of the project may be used to estimate the overall degree of use of prehistoric axes and the number of sharpening phases. More generally, the project represents the potential for establishing artefact-specific methodologies to evaluate use-intensity.
Andrews, Miriam, Grace
61a71817-9828-48d4-bcff-04d5cd65b266
Polcar, Tomas
c669b663-3ba9-4e7b-9f97-8ef5655ac6d2
Pike, Alistair
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Monaghan, Stephen
2650e3ee-89f4-4d8e-be32-2f9aa9486142
Andrews, Miriam, Grace
61a71817-9828-48d4-bcff-04d5cd65b266
Polcar, Tomas
c669b663-3ba9-4e7b-9f97-8ef5655ac6d2
Pike, Alistair
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Monaghan, Stephen
2650e3ee-89f4-4d8e-be32-2f9aa9486142

Andrews, Miriam, Grace, Polcar, Tomas, Pike, Alistair, Sofaer, Joanna and Monaghan, Stephen (2017) Modelling tribological processes to examine the use-intensity of Bronze Age palstave axes At Historical Metallurgy Society, London, United Kingdom. 17 Jun 2017.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Historically, wear on metal artefacts has not received as much attention as other material types, e.g., lithics and bone. This is reflected in the slow development of materials science approaches, quantitative analysis, and robust systematic methodologies, in the field of metal use-wear investigation. Furthermore, research has been focused, almost exclusively, around the functionality of objects.

This project is a response to the gaps that exist within the experimental protocol of the aforementioned field, investigating a new dimension of use – the sum amount sustained by the artefact – which has been termed the ‘use-intensity’. To test this new directive, replica Bronze Age palstave axes were subjected to systematic wear in laboratory settings by repetitive wood-cutting in an ‘impact tower’. An algorithm in the rig was used to assess the optimum sharpening interval, at which point the axes were resharpened, and the experimental phase repeated. Sequential and quantitative examination by Vickers hardness testing demonstrated an incremental increase in hardness of the axe blades due to both use and sharpening.

The results of the project may be used to estimate the overall degree of use of prehistoric axes and the number of sharpening phases. More generally, the project represents the potential for establishing artefact-specific methodologies to evaluate use-intensity.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 February 2017
Venue - Dates: Historical Metallurgy Society: The Metallurgy of our Portable Heritage, London, United Kingdom, 2017-06-17 - 2017-06-17
Organisations: Archaeology, nCATS Group, Education Hub

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411708
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411708
PURE UUID: e666c8e6-3f87-4428-981b-a30907f0ff49
ORCID for Tomas Polcar: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0863-6287

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 13:24

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