Pitchstone in Prehistory: New Insights into the Mesolithic and Neolithic use of Pitchstone in Scotland
This is an abstract from the "Advances in Obsidian Studies of the Old and New Worlds" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Pitchstone is a glassy volcanic rock similar to obsidian but in Europe, its geological occurrence and its use as a raw material for prehistoric chipped-stone assemblages are much more restricted. In northern Britain where good quality flint is scarce, pitchstone circulated widely in the Neolithic with artifacts made from this material being found over 400 km from the primary sources on the Isle of Arran in western Scotland. In contrast, during the preceding Mesolithic pitchstone use was much more restricted geographically.
• Reviews current knowledge on the use of pitchstone by Mesolithic and Neolithic societies in northern Britain, and present.
• Discusses new XRF analyses of pitchstone samples from geological sources on Arran and archaeological sites on Arran and the Scottish mainland.
• Presents the first use-wear analyses of Neolithic pitchstone assemblages from Scotland. A major challenge of this research was to design and conduct experiments in producing a definitive complex of wear patterns and to compare them with archaeological pieces.
Cite this Record
Pitchstone in Prehistory: New Insights into the Mesolithic and Neolithic use of Pitchstone in Scotland. Clive Bonsall, Maria Gurova. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452209)
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min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23568