17 – 18 June 2006 (Douglas)

3rd meeting of the Implement Petrology Group

held at the Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man by kind invitation of Allison Fox (Manx Museum)

Present: Dr R Vin Davis (RVD), Dr Alison Sheridan (JAS), Dr Steve Burrow (SB), Dr Colin Richards (CR). Colin Richards was welcomed as a new Member. Note: as the meeting was inquorate, any decisions taken were necessarily provisional.

Allison Fox was warmly thanked for allowing the IPG to use the Manx Museum as a venue, and for having come in on a Saturday to facilitate access to axeheads from the store and in the displays.

1. Apologies for absence: Professor Gabriel Cooney, Tom Clare, Jon Clatworthy, David Dawson, Professor Mark Edmonds, Dr Mike Heyworth, Dr Rob Ixer, Dr Heather Jackson, Dr Frances Lynch, Dr Yvan Pailler, Fiona Roe, Dr Joan Taylor, Dave Weddle.

2. Previous minutes. These were approved and signed as an accurate record.

3. Matters arising, not dealt with elsewhere.

– 4.7 – need for overhaul of Gp VI: RVD reported that work on this was ongoing, and that he intended to publish a note in time for the conference. Alternative sources for ‘Gp VI’ material included possible candidates in Padstow and in N & S Wales. It would be necessary to revisit ungrouped tuffs listed in SAS 2 and systematically study these. Some of the Lake District tuffs appeared to have a distinctive Va, Ti and Zr ‘signature’.
– 4.10 – collaboration with NHM over IPG slide collection there: RVD had been working on Woolley’s set of Gt Langdale thin sections for material collected by Claris & Quartermaine.
– 4.11 – Repatriation of non-English (and some English) slides from NHM: RVD reported that this had been taking place, with results as follows:
o Scottish slides: now mostly in National Museums of Scotland
o Welsh slides: in National Museums & Galleries of Wales
o Most English slides: now in the NHM Department of Mineralogy (as the IPG Collection)
o Slides from SW Group of Museums: in Taunton Museum, with associated Cards in Exeter Museum
o Shotton’s thin sections & Cards: Lapworth Museum, Birmingham University
RVD had temporarily borrowed some NW English slides but would be returning them to the NHM when finished.
– 4.13 – collaboration with NMS: Dr Yvan Pailler had produced a database of the Roy Ritchie paper archive (with a grant from HS) and had been awarded a £750 Challenge to work on the thin section slides retrieved from RR’s premises.
– 4.15 – Irish Stone Axe Project: It was reported (indirectly, by Gabriel Cooney) that Barbara Leon had had to withdraw from ISAP.
– 4.16 – collaboration with Nuclear Physics Laboratory, University of Illinois: RVD reported that Dr Tom Emerson had sent initial results, which confirm what had already been known or suspected about the Gt Langdale deposits: they were chloritised tuffaceous deposits. Emerson would come to the 2007 conference with the Portable Infrared mineral Analyzer apparatus. It would be necessary to build up a large geochemical database.
– 4.17 – American Association of Archaeologists’ Special Interest Group: the Prehistoric Quarry & Mines Special Interest Group had been established during the AAA Conference in Puerto Rico. Fliers for the IPG 2007 conference had been distributed and received enthusiastically.
– 4.20 – Ixer & Turner paper on Stonehenge sarsens: This had now been published.
– 6 – Treasurer’s report: RVD reported that as David Clarke had retired from the IPG, he would take over as the 3rd signatory on the IPG cheques.
– 8 – Members’ reports/NMS: JAS reported that NMS had failed in its bid for AHRC Academic Analogue Status, but would be re-applying in 2006 and would receive the result in January 2007.
– 9.5 -Trawl of local and regional museums in England: RVD reported that the original idea had been to get a volunteer to assess the overall number of stone axeheads in Englis museum collections, but nobody had come forward as a volunteer. This remained the case.
– 10 – AOB: The field trip to Carrock Fell had been very successful, and the IPG had been well represented at the Neolithic Studies Group/Lithic Studies Society meeting in London.
– 11 – meeting away from York: In view of the low attendance in the Isle of Man, it was agreed to discuss the issue of the feasibility of ‘away’ trips at the next IPG meeting. The need to avoid busy periods during the University year was acknowledged.

[No agenda no.] Main items of general IPG business since last meeting.
RVD tabled his Chairman’s Report (appended herewith, document (i)) and spoke to all the points contained in it.

4. Preparations for the 2007 IPG conference
RVD tabled his Chairman’s Report (appended herewith, document (ii)) and spoke to all the points contained in it.

5. Progress Reports
No progress had been made with the IPG website, for various unavoidable reasons, and this was holding up dissemination of the Atlas of Implement Petrology.

6. Officers’ & Members’ business
JAS reported on progress with Pierre Petrequin’s Europe-wide project on the use of Alpine jadeites during the Neolithic – including the analysis of the only Manx jadeite axehead, from Glencrutchery.

7. AOB
The Manx axeheads laid out for perusal were discussed, and previous work on Manx axeheads described; . RVD offered to complete the work undertaken by Coope & Garrad in the 1970s, which had concluded that some 60% imported Gp VI axeheads.

8. Date & venue of next meeting
This was set for Saturday 4 November at the CBA HQ, York, starting at mid-day.

The business meeting was followed by a meal with Dr Peter Davey of the Institute of Manx Studies. Dr Davey then kindly delivered a presentation on Manx prehistory to the Group, and on Sunday 18 June kindly guided the Group on a tour around sites of interest on the Island, including Meayll Hill, Tynwald, several megaliths, and the suspected source area 9in the south of the island) for a specific type of rock used for many Manx axeheads.

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