Tribology in Geology and Archaeology

Robert G. Bednarik
Convener, President and Editor, International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO), Australia

Series: Earth Sciences in the 21st Century
BISAC: SCI031000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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Tribology, the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion, has traditionally focused on technological applications, although some attention has been given to geotribology and tribochemistry. This volume explores the geological applications of tribology in some detail, before introducing the entirely new subdisciplines of archaeotribology and the tribology of rock art. The various geological, archaeological, and rock art applications are then correlated through the detailed description of a tribological phenomenon of the natural world that was only discovered most recently, kinetic energy metamorphosis (KEM).

This newly described phenomenon was first observed as a by-product of rock art production, but it was subsequently recognized as a widespread physical process whose effects are much more common in both geology and archaeology. Not only does this book illuminate the holistic and thus inter-disciplinary character of natural processes, it also presents the need to view tribology as a science connected to many other fields. Therefore, this volume advocates an extended scope for a science traditionally focused on aspects of friction, wear, and lubrication of machines. This enhances the importance of tribology, while at the same time enriching disciplines that have never even been considered to have potential connections with tribology. The book therefore succeeds in demonstrating that, ultimately, all disciplines are interconnected in the magnificent web of science, in which all fields of scientific enquiry must play a role.

This book thus presents a strong statement on the need for integrative understanding, but at the same time it demands high standards of epistemology. The introductory chapter presents a rigorous definition of science, and of the inherent characteristics of scientific propositions. It is followed by a chapter about geotribology, detailing the many applications of tribology in the vast field of geology. This includes reviews of fluvial, aeolian, glacial, and tectonic processes, each of which deals with interacting surfaces in relative motion. In the next section, the numerous applications of tribology in archaeology are examined in some detail. The chapter on the tribological nature of all rock art presents an innovative review of a topic never before defined as tribological. The “climax” of the book, however, is in the concluding chapter, which expounds and analyzes the newly discovered process of KEM. First detected in a specific kind of rock art, it was upon investigation identified as a major contributor to several hitherto unexplained phenomena in geology. In this way, the volume demonstrates strikingly how all of science, in the end, forms a single interconnected system.
(Imprint: Nova)


Chapter 1. An Introduction

Chapter 2. Tribology in Geology

Chapter 3. Archaeo-Tribology

Chapter 4. Tribology in Rock Art Science

Chapter 5. Kinetic Energy Metamorphosis


"Tribology, the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion, has traditionally focussed on its technological applications, such as the issues of machine fatigue, the cost of friction in mechanical engineering and similar aspects of great economic importance. However, the present book on Tribology in Geology and Archaeology has presented the pioneering work of the author on the new fields of archaeotribology and tribology of rock art research which were never thought of before." READ MORE... - Professor Giriraj Kumar, Rock Art Science and Indian Culture, Secretary General, Rock Art Society of India

"Like the occurrence of middle-range theory has influenced the development of archaeology during the late 20th century, the publishing of this book should also bring a lasting theoretical impact to rock art research of the next decades." READ MORE... - Dr. Jin Anni, Department of Archaeology, School of Social Development, Nanjing Normal University, China

Keywords: Tribology, Geology, Fluid, Fluvial erosion, Aeolian erosion, Glacial erosion, Plate tectonics, Tribology, Epistemology, Friction, Wear, Archaeology, Traceology, Replication study, Rock art science, Rock art dating, Kinetic energy metamorphosis

The book is equally important to the disciplines of tribology, geology (or earth sciences) and archaeology, particularly rock art research. These three fields have many organizations, institutions and academic structures and journals. The book is also of relevance to libraries and scholars interested in the universality of science.

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