The application of 3D laser scanning technology to the assessment of ordinal and mechanical cortex quantification in lithic analysis
Recent studies make use of cortex proportion as a proxy measurement for the impact of artefact transport on assemblage formation. Cortex in these studies is measured on an ordinal scale and analysed in relation to mechanical measurements of artefact size. Here we report on the use of a 3D laser scanner to obtain precise measurements from experimental lithic reduction sets. High-resolution measurements of cortex area are compared to measurements obtained through ordinal approximations of cortex proportion and mechanical approximations of artefact size. While the ordinal and mechanical measurements result in considerable error for individual artefacts, estimates improve significantly as sample size increases.