13 May 2011 (Bangor)

Minutes of the 13th meeting of the Implement Petrology Group

Held in the offices of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Bangor on 13 May 2011 at 20:00.


1. Thanks to host and welcome to guests
George Smith, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, was thanked for hosting the meeting.
The following guests were welcomed: Phil Morgan, Shirley Markham, Carol Dempsey (University College Cork) and Emmett O’Keefe (University College Dublin).

2. Apologies
Torben Ballin, Stephen Briggs, Jon Clatworthy, Tim Darvill, David Dawson, Mark Edmonds, Allison Fox, Mike Heyworth, Steve Mandall, Fiona Roe, Alison Sheridan, Rosemary Stewart, Joan Taylor, Pete Topping, Gill Varndell, Kath Walker, Dave Weddle, Andy Young.

3. The Minutes of the last meeting (May 6th in Carmarthen)
Approved without alteration and signed. There were no matters arising from the minutes which were not already covered by the agenda.

4. Matters arising not covered elsewhere in the Agenda

5. Chairman’s report
i. Stone Axe Studies III was launched at the Bournemouth University ‘Hands across the Water’ conference. 40 copies were sold on the day, from a print run of 400.
Congratulations and thanks were tendered to the editors, Mark Edmonds and Vin Davis.

ii. The AHRC grant application had been resubmitted and a decision was expected in July. Further details would be distributed to members if the grant was accepted.

iii. Discussions were held with Serge Cassen on the prospects of a project looking at evidence for the exchange of stone axes across the English Channel during the Neolithic. The idea was well-received by members and the Chair undertook to progress the proposal.

iv. The Chair was beginning a project with Billy O’Brien on potential sources of Irish ‘Group VI’ axes.

v. Suggestions for future meetings were considered including Northern France, source of Group XI dolerites, and the felsite quarries on the Shetland Isles.

6. Secretary’s report
i. The IPG website was launched in March 2011. It was well received by the membership and had accrued a steady stream of visitors.
Following discussion it was agreed that the names of members would be included on the website, but not email addresses or other contact details. All email correspondence would be directed to a single ‘admin’ email address managed by the Secretary.

The Secretary requested that members send in ‘news items’ for inclusion on the website.

7. Treasurer’s report
i. The Treasurer noted that the Group’s income (membership fees) and expenses (website and room hire) were equal. A discussion followed on the future funding options for the Group.

It was agreed to raise the membership fee from £5 to £10 a year from 1 January 2012. It was also noted that it was normal for additional fees to be charged to cover specific aspects of the Group’s fieldtrips (eg, the boat to Lambay Island).

ii. The Treasurer proposed that some of the Group’s surplus funds should be paid to the Chair to cover personal expenses incurred during the production of Stone Axe Studies III. The Chair declined.

iii. A proposal by the Treasurer: that surplus funds should be used to buy Premium Bonds, was not voted upon.

iv. The issue of membership fees led to a discussion of the membership process and the Group’s constitution. It was agreed that the original constitution would be circulated and its content revised at the York meeting in January 2012.

8. Members’ Business
Gabriel Cooney: was editing a World Archaeology volume on stone quarries and was preparing a joint fieldwork project with Torben Ballin to look at the Shetland felsite quarries.
Ian Meighan: contributed a geological assessment of the Parys Mountain mauls which were on display during the meeting.
David Jenkins: offered a summary of his work on the Parys Mountain mauls some of which came from distant sites, rather than local sources. A discussion followed on the potential hafting options for the mauls.
Phil Morgan: introduced his work on methodologies for the moving of large stones using A frames. This discussion was followed by a presentation after the evening meal on the 15 July.

9. AOB

10. Date, time and venue of next meeting
7 January 2012. St Olaf’s Hall, York.