Dries Cnuts

Dries Cnuts
University of Liège | ulg · TraceoLab

Doctor of Philosophy
Analysis of stone tool residues

About

23
Publications
8,487
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316
Citations
Citations since 2016
21 Research Items
315 Citations
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Introduction
Dries Cnuts currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at the TraceoLab, University of Liège and focuses on functional analysis of stone tools.

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they lack distinguishing shapes or easily visible structures under reflected light microscopy. Amorphous residues can only be identified by using transmi...
Article
Full-text available
The use of fire is essential for the preparation of hafting adhesives; both are suggested to be a proxy for distinguishing the technological expertise and complex cognition among Palaeolithic populations. While use of fire has been argued to exist from about 1.0 Ma onwards, evidence for adhesives in the Palaeolithic record is rare and fragmented. I...
Article
Full-text available
The use of glues for stone tool hafting is an important innovation in human evolution. Compared to other organic remains, glues are preserved more frequently, though mainly in small spots. Reliable identification requires chemical molecular characterization, which is tra- ditionally performed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Curre...
Article
A combined use wear and residue study aims at identifying hafting practices during the Middle Stone Age at Ifri n’Ammar to improve insight in assemblage variability and changes therein through time. Particular attention was devoted to the characteristics of the tanged and non-tanged tools to determine whether these morphological varieties were link...
Article
Understanding the relationship between stone tool technology and Late Pleistocene hominins has been one of the most fundamental questions within the field of human evolution. While this question has traditionally been addressed through the technological and typological study of lithic remains, improvements in detecting and identifying stone tool re...
Article
Full-text available
The vast Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide, which is located in the Campine region (Northern Belgium), revealed the presence of numerous Final Palaeolithic concentrations situated on a large Late Glacial sand ridge on the northern edge of a contemporary lake. This situation offers a unique possibility for a large-scale functional analysis...
Preprint
The vast Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide, which is located in the Campine region (Northern Belgium), revealed the presence of numerous Final Palaeolithic concentrations situated on a large Late Glacial sand ridge on the northern edge of a contemporary lake. This situation offers a unique possibility for a large-scale functional analysis...
Preprint
The vast Federmessergruppen site of Lommel-Maatheide, which is located in the Campine region (Northern Belgium), revealed the presence of numerous Final Palaeolithic concentrations situated on a large Late Glacial sand ridge on the northern edge of a contemporary lake. This situation offers a unique possibility for a large-scale functional analysis...
Chapter
Full-text available
Edge convergence, which is typical for pointed tools, is a major morphological feature contributing to the definition of the African Middle Stone Age (MSA). The multifaceted character of points might be the key to their success and for their recurrent adoption by prehistoric populations. Whether MSA points represent a good proxy to identify populat...
Article
Full-text available
Alterations caused by post-depositional processes have long hampered functional analysis of stone tools, and several attempts have been made to understand their effect on the visibility and identification of use-related traces and residues. Alterations can be caused by a broad range of phenomena that involve both mechanical and chemical processes....
Poster
After discard, archaeological stone tools are subjected to post-depositional processes, which may lead to an alteration of their surface state and thereby affect potential wear traces and residues. In spite of the durability of stone tools, the environment in which they are deposited will have an impact up until the moment an equilibrium is reached...
Article
The determination of the presence and the composition of residues from organic materials on archeological objects allows the behavior of our prehistoric ancestors to be better understood. The functional analysis of tools used for daily life activities, such as hunting or hide working, represents an important source of information. However, the chem...
Article
Understanding hunting technology is pivotal in the study of adaptive and innovative forces that influenced the evolution of prehistoric societies. The manufacture, design and use of hunting weapons involve technical processes such as those of tool miniaturization, blank standardization and projection modes, but also influence broader demographic st...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150437.].
Article
Blind tests provide an objective means to evaluate the accuracy of functional interpretations based on the presence of use-wear and residue traces on stone tools. Previous blind tests have highlighted interpretive errors commonly associated with use-wear and residue analyses leading to significant methodological developments in each of the respecti...
Article
Full-text available
Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) have traditionally been used, in combination with other analyses, for the chemical characterization of organic residues recovered from archaeological specimens. Recently in many life science fields, comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-...
Article
Full-text available
Residue analysis has become a frequently applied method for identifying prehistoric stone tool use. Residues adhering to the stone tool with varying frequencies are interpreted as being the result of an intentional contact with the worked material during use. Yet, other processes during the life cycle of a stone tool or after deposition may leave r...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Although residue analysis has been applied for more than 40 years, it cannot be considered a standardized method. A wide variety of different techniques have been used since then, mainly by self-taught analysts according to their own preferences. Techniques have not been validated through experimental control and blind testing, both (of which are) crucial for developing any reliable analytical method. My PhD focuses primarily on these methodological issues.
Archived project
My PhD project investigated the variability in hafting and use of chipped stone tools during the younger part of the Upper Palaeolithic (from c. 30,000 to 13,000 BP). I used a combination of stereomicroscopic and high magnification use-wear analysis for determining how the stone tools were used and for distinguishing between hand-held and hafted tools. The main sites under study were the cave site Hohle Fels (SW Germany), the open air site Maisières-Canal (Belgium), and the rock shelter Abri Pataud (SW France), all of which have yielded rich assemblages from secure chronological contexts. My research took place in the framework of the ERC-funded project "Evolution of stone tool hafting in the Palaeolithic", led by Dr. Veerle Rots at the University of Liège, Belgium.