Use-wear study

Use-wear or alteration analysis studies marks and accretions on vessels that can result from uses as varied as stirring, grinding with a pestle, or fermentation. The method can potentially facilitate the reconstruction of the range of domestic activities taking place and of their spatial distribution. Study will begin in 2016 and will focus on excavated material, incorporating both whole and fragmentary vessels, provided that preservation is good enough to ascertain shape and surface treatment and that multiple sherds from the same vessel can be excluded. Signs of both accretion and attrition alteration will be observed macroscopically and microscopically. Statistical analysis will be used to distinguish patterns of association between vessel forms, fabrics and particular types of wear which might indicate function.


Further reading:
Banducci, L. 2014. “Function and Use of Roman Pottery: A Quantitative Method for Assessing Use-Wear,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 27, 187-210.