Stonechat, Issue 1

Posted by Steve Burrow on March 29, 2014
Papers / Comments Off on Stonechat, Issue 1

The first issue of the Implement Petrology Group’s newsletter (March 2014).

Download Stonechat, Issue 1 (4mb file).

1. Katie Kewley on Manx stone axes
2. Kath Walker on stone tools and identity
3. Torben Ballin on some problems associated with lithic analysis
4. Vin Davis: on the importance of the Stainton West Carlisle lithics excavated by Oxford
Archaeology North (OAN)
5. Gabriel Cooney on the Shetland Riebeckite Felsite Project
6. Onur Ozbek on Palaeolithic to Neolithic quarry and workshop sites in Turkey
7. Richard Bevins et al on recent geoarchaeological research on Stonehenge lithics
8. Peter Cherry on reassessing flint, chert and stone scatters from NW England
9. Roberto Risch on the mechanical testing of implement rock and sources
10. Chris Fowler: on Stonescapes in Northern England
11. Vin Davis & Tom Clare on community geoarchaeological workshops and fieldwork in NW
12. For your interest and information: new book by Mark Edmonds takes a refreshingly new look
at Langdale geology, prehistory and landscape.

Maori clubs and prehistoric axes

Posted by Steve Burrow on February 15, 2014
Papers / Comments Off on Maori clubs and prehistoric axes

IPG member Dave Field has recently published a paper on maori jade in the context of prehistoric debate about curated artefacts. The abstract reads:

In prehistoric archaeology there is much debate on the extent to which artefacts had a long history and period of use and meaning before reaching their final resting place. In this paper some possibilities are examined via discussion of an important stone artefact from New Zealand and its associated historical information.

The paper is published here:

Field, D (2012) “Porourangi: a Maori Symbol of War, Peace and Identity”, p55-61. In Trigg, J. R. (ed) “Of Things Gone but not Forgotten: Essays in archaeology for Joan Taylor”. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, International Series S2434.

With online details available from Archaeopress.

Review of Stonehenge study

Posted by Steve Burrow on June 03, 2013
Papers / Comments Off on Review of Stonehenge study

Richard Bevins and Rob Ixer’s work on the Stonehenge rhyolites has been reviewed by SALON, the online magazine of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

For full details, click here

New article on Stonehenge rhyolites

Posted by Steve Burrow on May 29, 2013
Papers / Comments Off on New article on Stonehenge rhyolites

Richard Bevins and Rob Ixer have published an article testing Thomas’s 1923 theory that the Stonehenge rhyolitic bluestones were derived from Carn Alw. Building on geochemical investigations, their reanalysis of Thomas’s original thin sections have disproved this provenance.

The full article can be found here.

Symposium on chert and other knappable stone

Posted by Steve Burrow on May 07, 2012
Conferences / Comments Off on Symposium on chert and other knappable stone

From 20 – 24 August 2013, the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania will be holding an International Symposium on Chert and Other Knappable Materials

The conference will cover all aspects of knapped stone raw materials from geological origin, to mining, usage, and laboratory analyses on these materials and presentations are invited on materials such as obsidian, rhyolite and quartzite as well as chert. The intended audiences are field archaeologists, laboratory researchers, ethnographers and modern day knappers with papers being accepted on any culture or period.

Further details can be found here.

Review of Stone Axe Studies 3

Posted by Steve Burrow on April 06, 2012
Papers / Comments Off on Review of Stone Axe Studies 3

The Prehistoric Society has published a very favourable review of Stone Axe Studies 3, written by former Vice-President Pete Topping.

Pete concludes that SAS 3 is “a useful and important book which should be read by everyone interested in early material culture and the production and use of axes and what they might have meant to their contemporary communities”. Read the full review here.

The Quarry, January 2012

Posted by Steve Burrow on March 02, 2012
Papers / Comments Off on The Quarry, January 2012

Issue 7 of The Quarry (the e-newsletter of the Society of American Archaeology’s Prehistoric Quarries and Early Mines Interest Group) is now available. It features summaries of research at prehistoric quarries in Nevada and a description of a bifacial pick found in Wyoming.

Copies are available from here.

Project JADE pre-publication offer

Posted by Steve Burrow on January 23, 2012
Papers / Comments Off on Project JADE pre-publication offer

The circulation of Alpine jades in the Neolithic was an extraordinary phenomenon on a vast unsuspected scale, extending from Bulgaria’s Varna in the east to Britanny’s Morbihan in the west.

The source of this material and its distribution across Europe was the subject of the research project JADE (National Agency for Research, France), between 2006 and 2010.

The results are now published in “JADE. Grandes haches alpines du Néolithique européen, Ve au IVe millénaires av. J.-C.” coordinated by P. Pétrequin, S. Cassen, M. Errera, L. Klassen, A. Sheridan and A.-M. Pétrequin

The book will be available in April 2012 but a 20% discount is available for purchases before this date.

The order form (including table of contents) can be found here.

Summary of pitchstone research available online

Posted by Steve Burrow on June 10, 2011
Papers / Comments Off on Summary of pitchstone research available online

Torben Bjarke Ballin, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bradford and member of the IPG has published a paper in the Bulletin of the International Association of Obsidian Studies describing the results of his study of pitchstone. His project, begun in 2004, led to the production of a database of 5,542 pieces of archaeologically worked pitchstone derived from around 350 sites. A further 14,707 artefacts are noted on the database but were not examined in person.

Torben’s work has shown that pitchstone was in use from the Mesolithic to the Early Bronze Age on Arran, but there is no evidence for its use in mainland Scotland during the Mesolithic and little evidence for its use off Arran during the Bronze Age.

Torben’s paper can be found here.

Launch of Stone Axes Studies 3

Posted by Steve Burrow on June 07, 2011
Papers / Comments Off on Launch of Stone Axes Studies 3

The long-awaited launch of Stone Axe Studies III took place
with a wine reception held during the Hands Across the Water
Conference in Bournemouth on Saturday 07 May 2011. This important,
and highly successful, Conference was organized jointly by the
Prehistoric Society, the School of Applied Sciences of the Bournemouth
University, La Société Préhistorique Française and the Neolithic
Studies Group. It was a fitting occasion for the book launch; one of
the editors attended. Oxbow thanked both editors for their strong
cooperation and determination in bringing the handsome volume to
publication, and especially for the high quality of its design and

From the beginning of the discipline, stone and flint axes have
occupied an important place in the archaeological imagination.
Building blocks in the foundation of ideas about prehistory, they have
been prominent in the literature ever since, definitive fossils of
particular periods and touchstones for arguments about the character
of human society over time.

Bringing together the results of research from around the world, this
volume makes it clear that our fascination with these artifacts is
nothing new. Whatever the cultural setting, the period or place, axes
have loomed large in the collective imagination. And they have done
so in ways that cut across the academic line we often draw between the
practical facts of use and the meaningful qualities of material

Many of the papers collected here take us from the birth of axes at
specific sources to their death in graves, hoards and other settings.
Others trace the afterlives of blades in more recent collections.
Documenting research in lab, field and archive, they demonstrate that
then, as now, the biographies of axes and people are hard to