This year, the Society for American Archaeology meetings were held in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii. We held a use-wear session entitled “Novel Applications of Microscopy and Microanalysis” during these meetings, following the 2011 SAA session in Sacramento organised around scientific approaches to use-wear analysis. Participants attended from across North America and Europe to take part in the SAA session and to experience the warmth and hospitality of Hawaii. The session focused on scientific approaches to microwear analysis and papers covered a range of materials including lithics and metals. Paper topics included a review of three-dimensional microscopy techniques, identification of submerged landscapes through microscopic traces, new methods of projectile fracture analysis, and use-wear on metals (a full list of abstracts can be found here). The session resulted in very interesting discussions around the application of new microscopy techniques to our current repertoire of microwear methods, and the application of use-wear analysis to different types of material culture. We hope to continue the discussion on the application of new microscopy techniques at upcoming Use-Wear Conferences and SAA meetings.
Adrian Evans, Danielle Macdonald, Harry Lerner, James Stemp