Association of Archaeological Wear & Residue Analysts


Abstract Deadline Extended

26th September, 2017

The call for papers for the next AWRANA symposium in Nice, France, has been extended.

The new deadline for abstracts is the 15th October.


AWRANA Conference Nice 2018

3rd August, 2017

Three years after the first AWRANA Conference in Leiden, Connecting people and technologies, the next AWRANA conference will be held in Nice (France), from 29 May - 1 June 2018. This encounter will be the 13th major international meeting of use-wear analysts (since the first CLUW in Vancouver in 1979).

The central focus of the conference will be "Beyond use-wear traces: about tools and people". Many studies on technological aspects of material culture deal with specific material categories (e.g. flint, ceramics, bone), often in separate or isolated ways, and this division does not really reflect the integrated nature of technical systems in which different material categories are in dynamic interaction. Hence, exploring the interactions between different chaines operatoires is crucial for a more global concept of the toolkit with all its components and it is a precondition for paleoethnographic reconstructions of technical systems and economies.

This conference aims to revive the debate on the role of traceology (use-wear and residues) in multidisciplinary approaches that address archaeological questions. Therefore, we invite presentations which are not solely isolated functional studies, but which attempt to integrate other approaches and/or different raw materials. Starting from a functional perspective, presentations could explore topics such as apprenticeship, group dynamics, social status, economy, technological evolution, spatial organisation, mobility patterns and territories, or adaptations to cultural and environmental changes. Also presentations dealing with more methodological topics are encouraged as methodological advances are in the heart of the discipline (experimentation, trace quantification, residue characterisation).


Different kinds of presentations could be proposed:

-Oral presentations (15 min)

-Pecha Kucha (Pecha Kucha is a presentation format where you show a fixed number of 20 slides, each displayed for exactly 20 seconds. The slides advance automatically without control of the presenter. See info on



The deadline for the proposal of a communication is September 30th, 2017. Proposals need to include an abstract of maximum 300 words and 5 keywords.


Organisers: S. Beyries, UCA-CNRS, C. Hamon, Paris 1 Univ.-CNRS, Y. Maigrot, Paris1 Univ.-CNRS.

Scientific Committee: R. Fullagar, Wollongong Univ. (Australia); D. Macdonald, Tulsa Univ. (USA); E. Gyria, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia); V. Rots, Liege Univ. (Belgium); I. Clemente, CSIC Barcelone (Spain); A. Van Gijn, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands); C. Lemorini , Rome Univ. (Italy); A. Little, York Univ. (UK); E. Claud, Inrap (France).




from Cristina Lemorini:

15th September, 2016


TOOL FUNCTION IN THE PAST: Usewear, residues and techno morphological analysis of stone and ceramic materials


DIRECTOR: Prof. Cristina Lemorini





29th June, 2015

Earlier this month (2nd to 4th June 2015), Veerle Rots and the TraceoLab team from the University of Liege (ULg), Belgium, hosted a workshop for residues and hafting. Thirty guests from all over the world, including Australia, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK, took part in the three day workshop. Special guest speakers included Martine Regert (CNRS and University of Nice, France), Ebbe Hayes (University of Wollongong, Australia), Geeske Langejans (Leiden University, the Netherlands), Pierre-Hugues Stefanuto (ULg), Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet (Sorbonne University, France), Larry Barham (University of Liverpool, UK), Marie Soressi (Leiden University), and Richard Fullagar (University of Wollongong). Staff members, post-doctoral fellows and students at TraceoLab and ULg (Veerle Rots, Carol Lentfer, Jimmy Linton, Helene Salmon, Dries Cnuts, Sonja Tomasso, Noora Taipale, Christian Lepers, and Justin Coppe) also presented their ongoing research.

Larry Barham on "The Social and Cognitive Foundations of Hafting"

The aim of the workshop was to discuss the aspects of stone tool hafting and residue analysis in an informal setting by bringing together investigators with various research strengths and scientific backgrounds. The discussions centred around the cognitive, social and technological foundations of hafting, as well as contemporary and innovative methods of tool residue analysis. Current studies on Palaeolithic and Neolithic hafting, along with ongoing experimental work focused on Palaeolithic hunting systems, were also presented.

Workshop participants were given a guided tour of the TraceoLab's new microscopy laboratory, which houses an extensive experimental reference collection of approximately 2000 stone tools. Guests were able to examine selected tools using any of the nine Zeiss microscopes. Veerle Rots, the director of the TraceoLab, explained the basics of hafting wear formation, and, with the rest of the TraceoLab team, provided guidance in identifying particular traces of wear. Guests were able to examine collections of projectile tips, ground stone tools and chipped flint tools that had been used for various purposes and durations. These tool categories represent crucial aspects of human behaviour and evolution.

pic2Workshop participants examining experimental tools in the microscopy lab.

Residue removal and treatment techniques were demonstrated in the wet chemistry laboratory, and included methods of residue removal, slide preparation and staining. Residues were removed via pipette extractions and ultrasonication, and mounted on glass slides for examination under the transmitted light microscope. The application of various staining agents to highlight damaged and amorphous residues was also demonstrated. During this practical session, guests were able to try their hand at removing residues, preparing slides, and examining removed material under high magnification. The development and application of residue removal and analysis techniques is becoming increasingly important for our understanding of tool function and past behaviour.

The second practical session concentrated on the dynamics of stone tool hafting. TraceoLab's master knapper and experimenter Christian Lepers demonstrated methods of processing raw hide, sinew and resin for hafting purposes, and participants were able to examine tool and weapon replicas and other equipment that are in use in the experimental lab. The guests also got a first-hand experience of Palaeolithic hunting systems by trying out a spearthrower!

The three workshop days were passed in a relaxed atmosphere. The topics covered and the questions discussed demonstrated that functional analysis is a truly multidisciplinary field of study where new methods meet fundamental questions of human ecology, culture, and evolution. The organisers would like to thank all the participants for their enthusiasm, inspiring presentations and stimulating conversations. We hope that this small gathering encourages collaboration and exchange of ideas between different institutes as well as experts in various fields.

To view more photographs from the Workshop, please visit AWRANA's Facebook page.


First AWRANA Meeting 27-30 May 2015, Leiden University, Netherlands

16th June, 2015

Congratulations to Annelou van Gijn and the Leiden team for organising such a fabulous AWRANA conference! Annelou is working to provide us with an archive of the program, the revised book of Abstracts and some pictures of the action. We welcome participants visit our Facebook Group and upload any conference images.


Letter from the President

17th April, 2015

Dear AWRANA members,

The Leiden conference is approaching and it will be the first very first Association of Archaeological Wear and Residue Analysts (AWRANA) conference! The Material Culture Studies group of the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University, the Netherlands, is hosting the conference. Advice from the Conference Chair, Annelou van Gijn, suggests that it will be the largest conference ever held on lithic microwear, tool residues and other functional studies! At the Leiden conference, we will also hold the first AWRANA general meeting, on Saturday, 30th May, after the last session. Please keep an eye on the latest program on the conference website

I am preparing an agenda for the general meeting and my president's report, which will be posted soon. I hope that AWRANA members share my enthusiasm for the Association and this first conference. I also remind members of the AWRANA website and Facebook group where you will find news, jobs, membership details, and other resources. I ask you all to take time to share news of your current research projects on the website and Facebook group (see link on the bottom of the AWRANA website).

In preparation for the general meeting, there are several things that the present executive would like members to consider for discussion:

1. Our Association depends on the participation and enthusiasm of all members. We encourage members to nominate for hosting the next AWRANA conference, perhaps in 2018 or another year? You may wish to get provisional or in principle support from your institution.

2. There will also be an election for the AWRANA executive. We encourage members, preferably as a team, to stand for positions on the AWRANA executive. During the general meeting the current executive will propose how we might vote, and recommend that the composition of the next AWRANA executive will include a minimum of four positions (perhaps five, if Secretary and Treasurer wish to hold separate positions):

Communications Manager (to manage the websites)
Secretary and Treasurer (to manage the membership and finances)

3. The current executive will also recommend that the immediate Past President and the Chair of the next conference organising committee should have an advisory role on the new executive.

I look forward to seeing you all in Leiden!

Best wishes!

Richard Fullagar


AWRANA 2015 Conference

14th April, 2014

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the very first Association of Archaeological Wear and Residue Analysts (AWRANA) conference, hosted by the Material Culture Studies group of the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. The conference will start with a keynote lecture on Wednesday evening of May 27, 2015, and end Saturday May 30, 2015 at midday.

We will inform you shortly about the calls for sessions and papers.

Kind regards,

Annelou van Gijn



21st February, 2014

The UISPP conferences is up and coming 1-7th September 2014:

UISPP website

there are three sessions on lithic microwear

UISPP Commission A17 "Functional Studies of Prehistoric artifacts and their Socio-economic inferences on past societies"

Session A17a. Title: Recent Trends and Aspects of Use-wear Analysis and their contribution to the Modernization of Archaeology.
Coordination: Andreu Olle (, Juan Jose Ibanez (, Adrian E. Evans (, Laura Longo (

Session A17b. Title: Traceological research and experimental work.
Coordination: Alfred Pawlik (, Richard Yerkes (, Natalia Skakun (, Mikhail Zhilin, (

Session A17c. Title: Microscopic determination of hafting technology: use-wear and residues
Coordination:Robert Sala (, Juan F. Gibaja (, Veerle Rots, Xavier Terradas, Belen
Marquez & Juan Jose Ibanez.


SAA 2014

24th December, 2013

The SAA will be taking place in Austin, Texas on April 23rd-27th

SAA meeting website

As usual there are several interesting papers on wear analysis and there is at least one session of interest:

Symposium Contrasting Patterns of Collecting, Treatment and Use of
Stems and Fiber for Crafts in Hunter-Gatherer versus Horticultural

and Agropastoral Groups
Chairs: Patricia Anderson; Carole Cheval
Participants: Richard Fullagar, Lynley Wallis and Heidi Pitman; Linda Hurcombe; Russell Greaves and Karen Kramer; Raquel Pique, Susagna Romero, Antoni Palomo, Josep Tarrus and Xavier Terradas; Annelou Van
Gijn and Aimee Little; Philippa Ryan; Willeke Wendrich; Patricia Anderson and Mondher M'Hamdi; Carole Cheval; Paula
Doumani and Robert Spengler III; Elizabeth Horton; Melinda Leach
Discussants: Catherine Fowler; Linda Hurcombe


Summer update

8th August, 2013

Summer is going well and we hope you are all having a good time in the field, in the lab, or even on holiday!

Our membership has been slowly growing and we now have 28 associate members and 38 affiliates. A big thank you goes out to those who have made donations to support the association. On Facebook we now have a group with 22 members (feel free to join us on facebook if you haven't already).

We're interested in what you have been up to - you can post photos and comments on our facebook group and welcome any content that you would like to add to our website - jobs that you are aware of, books, weblinks - please drop us an email and we'll get the content up as soon as we can.


Website Launch

2nd May, 2013

Today is website launch day!

Dear Colleagues,

Website Launch: Association of Archaeological Wear and Residue Analysts

Following the successful meeting in Portugal and the formation of AWRANA, the Association of Archaeological Wear and Residue Analysts, we are happy to announce the launch of the AWRANA website:

The scope of the association is broad, and we hope it will include all those studying tools made of metals, ceramics, bone, antler, shells, stones and other materials. The range of wear and residue studies will not only include the full range of tasks associated with artefact manufacture and tool-use but also wear and other traces that may be derived from weathering, taphonomy and other processes.

The website hosts details on upcoming networking events and conferences, jobs, resources (books, websites) and will develop as a central hub for communication among specialists and students.

You can join as an Affiliate Member by using the form here:

Making a donation (minimum 10 Euros) to AWRANA will upgrade you to an Associate Member. Donations can be made online at the website. A donation will mean that you are contributing to the sustainability of the society and will also give you access to further benefits, including participation in collaborative research projects from time to time, eligibility for conference discounts and grants for conference and workshop attendance. Your status as an Affiliate or Associate Member will be published on the AWRANA website. We will consider the option of annual subscriptions at the next international use-wear meeting being planned for Leiden by Annelou van Gijn. For details, watch the website.

Please forward this message to your colleagues and lists.

Best wishes,

President: Dr Richard Fullagar, University of Wollolongong

Vice President: Dr Veerle Rots, University of Liege

Website Content Manager: Dr Adrian Evans, University of Bradford


Aloha from the SAAs, Honolulu

5th April, 2013

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


Now on Facebook

21st January, 2013

The association now has a facebook group, please visit and become a subscriber

Find us on Facebook


Upcoming conference session

18th January, 2013

The biannual session on scientific approaches will be hosted by the 78th SAA annual meeting and is titled 'Novel Applications of Microscopy and Microanalysis'. The conference will take place in April at Honolulu, Hawaii. The program is posted online at For additional details please contact the session chair, Dr. Adrian Evans