The Irish lithic landscapes project: current chert provenancing research in prehistoric Ireland


The Irish Lithic Landscapes project is investigating the places where prehistoric communities obtained the raw materials for their flaked stone tools during the Irish Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Early Bronze Age, which dates to c. 8,000–2,000 BC. While Ireland has a very rich archaeological heritage, there is a significant gap in the island's raw material sourcing research. This project will begin to fill this gap, and therefore deepen our understanding of the prehistoric communities there. The 2014 geoarchaeological prospection for the project centred on the northwest of Ireland, which includes case study assemblages from domestic sites and ritual sites such as megalithic tomb complexes. During 2014 we collected 350 geological samples from over 400 survey points, which included examining c. 250 outcrop groups. The present analysis is using non-destructive energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) as a first-order technique to determine chert whole-rock geochemistry, which will be followed by petrographic analysis on a sub-sample of the collection. A significant part of this project is the creation of a lithoteque reference collection of Irish cherts; this will be physically housed at the UCD School of Archaeology, Ireland and accompanied by a web-based, spatial database, open for use by other researchers.

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The Irish lithic landscapes project: current chert provenancing research in prehistoric Ireland. Killian Driscoll, Adrian Burke, Gilles Gauthier, Graeme Warren, Stefan Bergh. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395607)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;