Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Jan F. Simek

Committee Members

Charles Faulkner, Andrew Kramer


The purpose of this research is to investigate several aspects of function within Mousterian assemblages by performing an analysis of artifacts from Burrone Scierra I, a site on the Ionian coast of Calabria, Italy. This research focuses on the relationship between function and the edge angle, tool size, raw material, technology and typology. Another intent of this study is to examine what spatial integrity remained at the site. The study assemblage is a surface collection from a plow zone context. Because the collection under investigation is from plow zone context the methods employed are those developed for low power microwear analysis.

Results of the investigation reveal that several distinct activities were taking place at the Burrone Scierra I site. These activities include cutting, scraping, graving and boring on materials defined as hard, medium or soft. Two distinct activity areas are identified.

It is concluded that a relationship exists between function and edge angle and tool size, while there is little to no relationship between function and technology and typology. Some spatial integrity is maintained even within plow zone context allowing for the definition of activity areas. Therefore, in the future microwear analysts should not shy away from assemblages that have been obtained from plow zone contexts.

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