20th Meeting (and Annual General Meeting) of the Implement Petrology Group
held at St. Olave’s Church Hall, York
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th January 2015 at 12 noon
Present: Peter Cherry (PC) (Sunday only),Vin Davis (Chair)(RVD), David Field (DF), Chris Fowler (CF), Mik Markham (MM), Paul Preston (PP), Alison Sheridan (JAS), Simon Timberlake (ST), Peter Topping (PT), Gill Varndell (GV), and Katharine Walker (KW).
Guests: Bernard Gilhooly (BG) and Brendan O’Neill (BO), doctoral researchers from University College, Dublin, and Yvonne Luke (YL) English Heritage and doctoral researcher from the University of Bradford, to the Meeting.
It was noted with regret that bad weather had forced GC to abandon his journey from Dublin.
Recent publications were tabled.
RVD welcomed the attendees. The attendees introduced themselves.
1. Apologies for absence:
Torben Ballin, Richard Bevins (RB) , Stephen Briggs, Steve Burrow (SB), Tom Clare (TC), Gabriel Cooney (GC), Tim Darvill, Carol Dempsey, Mark Edmonds, Allison Fox, Jack Grasse, Mike Heyworth, Katie Kewley, Heather Jackson, Nicolas Le Maux, Frances Lynch (FL), Terry Manby, Jamie Quartermaine, Colin Richards, Fiona Roe, Rosemary Stewart (RS); Aimee Little (guest speaker).
2. New Format for the Annual General Meeting:
Following its success at the previous AGM, the 2-day AGM/mini-conference format was used for the 20th Meeting.
3. Minutes of previous meeting:
3.1 The 18th Meeting: RVD explained that there were no Minutes to present for the 19th Meeting (12-18th May 2014) because it had been a residential field meeting in Brittany (see Minute 4.5 below).
3.2 The Minutes of the 18th Meeting, York, 12 January 2012 were approved, and signed by RVD (previously circulated). An account of the Brittany Field meeting had been published in Stonechat #2.
4. Matters arising, not otherwise covered in the Agenda:
4.1 Item 5.2: RVD had written to John Williams expressing the Group’s appreciation of his services.
4.2 Item 6.2.1: Although the application had not been successful, the de-briefing session by HLF attended by RVD and MM had been encouraging.
4.3 Item 6.3a: Further action is required.
4.4 Items 10.1, 10.2: Both speakers were unavailable.
5.1 Election of new Members: by unanimous votes: PP (proposed RVD, seconded DF); and ST (proposed JAS, seconded DF).
5.2 RVD provided an update on Fiona Roe.
6. Officers’ Reports:
6.1: Chair: RVD went through his previously-circulated Report. The Chairman’s Report was accepted. RVD was thanked for his Report.
6.2: Hon Sec: MM presented Reports on the following substantive items:
6.2.1 MM explained the weaknesses in the unsuccessful funding application to the HLF, and how these might be addressed in any future national level project proposal to HLF.
6.2.1 RVD had attended two meetings with HLF advisors in Leeds. He outlined a project proposal to the HLF Yorkshire and Humberside Region concerning the setting up of a Community Training and Outreach Centre for Implement Petrology, in York. The Meeting endorsed the project proposal, which would be taken forward by a Working Group comprising MM, KW and RVD.
6.2.2. MM (and RVD) reported steady progress on the preparation of The Atlas of Thin Sections of British and Irish Prehistoric Stone Tools. A new format was being developed and trailed as part of the Shetland Felsite Project.
6.2.3 MM reported steady progress on the preparation of the IPG database. A historical context has been added to each group description. Checking existing records for published grouped and ungrouped implements listed in the SAS II catalogue has continued.
6.2.4 MM and RVD had met Kevin Leahy (PAS Adviser) to discuss how the IPG might add value to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Revisions suggested by IPG had been incorporated into the PAS protocols and guidelines. The provision of training workshops for PAS Field Officers was identified as an area of need which the IPG might tackle. A further meeting will be arranged with PAS staff at the British Museum. The Hon Sec’s Report was accepted; MM was thanked for his Report.
6.3: Hon Treasurer: The Report was tabled. As at 10/01/15 the balance was £935.66. During the course of the year we spent £204.60. Many members have not updated standing orders/direct debits so have only paid £5. It was unanimously agreed that, as a matter of urgency, TC chase up all unpaid subscriptions. The Hon Treasurer’s Report was accepted; TC was thanked for his Report.
6.4: Hon Events Officer: PT outlined his rationale, and proposed the following Meetings:
6.4.1: Spring Meeting May 2015: Group XVIII outcrops in northern England (a planning group comprising: MM, CF, PT and RVD was appointed).
6.4.2: Spring Meeting May 2016: a residential visit to Spiennes Neolithic Flint Mines. An early notification of the dates was requested; serious participants would be asked to pay a deposit for accommodation. (Action PT).
6.4.3: Suggestions for future AGM’s were:
(i) the British Geological Survey (BGS) HQ in Keyworth, Northants, to include a tour of the geological services available;
(ii) the Lapworth Museum, Birmingham, to include an examination of the Shotton Collection (Jon Clatworthy to be asked to comment on this possibility); and
(iii) to alternate the previous suggestions with the current arrangement to meet in York.
The Report was accepted; PT was thanked for his Report.
6.5 Web Managers Report: SB reported that the IPG website had more than 11,000 visitors last year. They looked at a total of 119,000 pages (an average of 10 pages per visitor). 15,000 of those pager views were by people in UK. Around 5% of our visitors stayed for more than 30 minutes, suggesting that we have obviously got worthwhile content. Most people searched for us by name, suggesting that the website is known. Stonechat was downloaded more than 1,000 times. Members thanked SB for these extremely encouraging statistics, and his continuing commitment to developing our website.
The Report was accepted; SB was thanked for his Report.
7 IPG Mission:
TC proposed that the IPG might broaden its remit to include the petrology of all prehistoric stone artefacts. Members unanimously agreed that, because the IPG is recognised internationally as a leader in geoarchaeological research on prehistoric stone tools, it must not broaden its remit beyond prehistoric stone tools. Petrographic research on archaeological stone and ceramics falls outside the IPG remit.
8 Research & Development Reports
The following Members reported on and answered questions about their current research interests. A summary of each presentation will be published in the IPG eNewsletter Stonechat #3.
8.1 Stonescapes Project; and Cutting Edge Project (CF)
8.2 Shetland Felsite Project: Archaeology (BO and BG); Geology, Petrology and Geochemistry (RVD & MM)
8.3 Lithoscapes Project (PP)
8.4 Brittany Field Visit (AS)
8.5 Some issues surrounding the production of replica stone tools (BO & BG)
8.6 Stone mauls and EBA copper mining (ST)
8.7 New discoveries around Scafell and Great Langdale (PT)
8.8 Notes on the finds (including Group IX) from Llanfaethlu (FL)
Research currently in progress by RS was noted, but not reported on at the Meeting.
9. Members’ Business:
Oral or tabled Reports were received from the following Members. A summary of these Reports will be published in the IPG eNewsletter Stonechat #3.
9.1 Museum charges (GV)
9.2 The Tot Lord Collection of stone tools (RVD)
9.3 Defining lithic scatters (PC)
9.4 Round table on prehistoric stone tools and sources: the Northern Isles (MRE)
9.5 Stonechat eNewsletter progress review (RVD)
9.6 Critical review of Group VI implements (RVD)
9.7 Discovery of axes from Shetland at Newcastle Museum (PT)
9.8 The authenticity of Group XXVI (RVD)
9.9 Monvoy prehistoric extraction site, Ireland (RVD)
9.10 Neolithic long mounds in the Yorkshire Pennines (YL)
10 Implement Petrology Workshop:
A hands-on introductory workshop took place from 10am until 2pm on Sunday 11th Jan 2015. An account of the Workshop will be published in Stonechat #3.
11 Next Meetings:
11.1 The 21st Meeting: it was unanimously agreed that the 21st Meeting should be a residential field excursion to Group XVIII localities across Northern England during May 2015.
11.2 The 22nd Meeting (2016 AGM): details will be announced later (see Minute 6.4.3)