Innovative research by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Bradford used laser microscopes to explore how stone tools were used in prehistory, and the process has helped streamline surface measurement techniques for modern manufacturers.Archaeologists at the University of Bradford hypothesised that reconstructing past activities was the best way to study what each tool was used for. They proposed to measure the surface structures of replica stone tools before and after they were used in different reconstructions on two natural materials - antler and wood.
NPL conducted surface measurement investigations on the replica tools using a confocal microscope to create a map of surface structure. Richard Leach, who led the work at NPL, said: "We measured the surfaces of each tool using a confocal microscope to create a map of its surface structure. Optical measurements create 3D constructions of each surface recorded without physically contacting the surface."
Read the full story here: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-stone-age-tools-modern.html
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