Keywords: macrolithic tools; plant organs processing; sandstones; replicative experiment design; punctual surface texture analysis
Abstract: This article presents an analytical procedure developed to replicate, document, and analyse the formation and evolution of use-wear traces on task-specific ground stone tools. The purpose of this study is to build a reference collection for wear patterns that occurred during the processing of vegetal resources, specifically those compatible with the MIS 3 period. To create the collection, riverine slabs and pebbles were utilised and various aspects related to their use in the transformation of aerial and underground plant organs were explored. Moreover, the feasibility of using perishable supports, such as a wooden base, for processing tasks was examined. The experiments explored the transformation of pebble stone surfaces during repeated cycles of processing plant organs by monitoring and recording the features at fixed intervals. Several variables that affect the surface texture, morphology, distribution, and extent of use-wear traces are identified and discussed. The influential factors under control included the petrographic and morphological characteristics of the unused stones, the type and amount of transformed vegetables, and the duration of the process, as well as monitoring human factors. The documentation strategy applied at various stages of the experiment was found to be suitable for tracing the cumulative development of wear. The replicative collection was tailored to the morphological and petrographic characteristics of the ground stone tools retrieved from the level attributed to the Prut River culture of Brînzeni I, a cave site located in NW Moldova.