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basal edge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The proximal edge of a triangular or lanceolate projectile or stem of a stemmed type. There are eight major types of Basal Edges; Convex, Straight, Concave, Auriculate, Lobbed, Bifurcated, Fractured and Snapped.
dressed edge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Trimmed and smoothed edge
edge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The outside limit of a stone tool; the outside limit of an object, area, or surface
edge angle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: edge-angle
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The angle of the cutting edge of a stone (or other material) tool. The edge angle often indicates the purpose for which the tool was used. Edge-wear analysis is the microscopic examination of the working edges of tools.
edge damage
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The result of use-wear on flint; damage showing where a tool was used.
edge hypothesis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The theory that the need for more food was initially felt at the margins of the natural habitat of the ancestors of domesticated animals and plants
edge-ground stone tool
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A tool classification of Pleistocene northern Australia and New Guinea and Southeast Asia comprised of hatchets, flakes, and other tools. Important sites include Nawamoyn, Malangangerr, Arnhem Land, Cape York, New Guinea Highlands. Edge-ground tools do not appear until the late Holocene elsewhere in Australia; they are completely absent from Tasmania. In Southeast Asia, it comprises flaked stone tools which are sharpened by grinding or polishing the cutting edge only. They existed in the Bacsonian and Hoabhinian periods.
edge-modified flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A flake with evidence of modification along one or more edges, whether by natural forces, human use, or bag wear.
feather termination
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: feather fracture, feather-edged flaking, feathered (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A gradual thinning of a lithic flake at the distal end to an extremely sharp point or edge.
fossil ice wedges
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: foliated ground ice, wedge ice
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil features caused when the ground freezes and contracts, opening up fissures in the permafrost that fill with wedges of ice. The fossil wedges are proof of past cooling of climate and of the depth of permafrost. Foliated ground ice, or wedge ice, is the term for large masses of ice growing in thermal contraction cracks in permafrost.
ice wedge
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ice-wedge; foliated ground ice
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Large masses of ice growing in thermal contraction cracks in permafrost. In periglacial conditions, alternating freeze and thaw can lead to the formation of vertical, narrow, and deep wedges of ice in gravels. After melting, these tend to fill with sediment, forming a cast of the ice wedge seen as dark bands, easily confused with manmade features, in aerial photographs. Casts of fossil ice wedges are one of the few true indicators of former permafrost conditions. Fossil ice-wedges of this kind are seen in many sections of sand and gravel deposits in Europe. They have been used to reconstruct the extent of the periglacial zone which developed around the Devensian and Weichselian ice-sheets.
ledge
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An offset in a masonry wall where the upper face is recessed from the lower face.
rim edge treatment
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Angular flattening, horizontal flattening, horizontal and vertical flattening, pushed, squeezed, pinched
use-wear analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: edge-wear analysis; usewear analysis; microwear analysis; use wear analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The examination and study of the edges and surfaces of artifacts, mainly stone tools, to determine the type of wear they have experienced and thus the tasks for which they were used. Microscopic analysis is used to detect signs of wear on working edges.
wedge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An object, usually wood or metal used to force open or keep open another object. Often used to split timber by striking the thick end and forcing the wood apart.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wedge tomb
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A megalithic chamber tomb particular to Ireland in the Late Neolithic and some from the Middle-Late Bronze Age. There is a long narrow chamber of orthostats supporting capstones, which decrease in height toward the back; it would not have a separate entrance passage. The division between antechamber and burial area is marked by a sill slab or by stone jambs. The cairn may be round, oval, or D-shaped, and often has a retaining wall. The earliest grave goods are bucket-shaped pots of the Late Neolithic period, but Beaker pottery is predominant.
wedge-shaped microcore
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that is small and keel- or wedge-shaped and used to make microblades. They have been found in East Europe, Siberia, Mongolia, northern China, Alaska, northwestern North America, and Japan on Upper Palaeolithic sites from the close of the Pleistocene.

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