Publication Details

Fullagar, R., Liu, L., Bestel, S., Jones, D., Ge, W., Wilson, A. & Zhai, S. (2012). Stone tool-use experiments to determine the function of grinding stones and denticulate sickles. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin, 32 (1), 29-44.


Within a broader study of early Chinese agriculture, stone tool-use experiments were undertaken to document usewear on sandstone and tuff implements used to process Quercus acorns, Avena oats and Setaria millet. In other experiments, we examined usewear on denticulate slate sickles used to harvest Quercus acorns, Poaceae grass and Typha reeds. Results support other studies that indicate different patterns of abrasive smoothing, striation formation and polish development together provide a basis for distinguishing some of these tasks. This research is aimed to establish a database for functional analysis of grinding stones and sickles from the early Neolithic Peiligang culture. Controlled experiments are required to identify critical variables (e.g. silica in husks) that affect usewear patterns.