Stone in Archaeology: Towards a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005

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University of Southampton (2005) Stone in Archaeology: Towards a digital resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


'Stone in Archaeology - towards a Digital Resource' is a resource enhancement project which was awarded to Kathryn Knowles and Professor David Peacock with technical expertise provided by Fiona Lewis. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB). The resource has been developed by Archaeology, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, in collaboration with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), to create a unique multidisciplinary digital resource in the field of lithic archaeology.

Building on the large pre-existing collection of archaeologically relevant comparative rock samples held at Southampton, the project has created a searchable relational database. This database is accessible both to beginners and those with geological experience and allows the identification of stone samples by searching on the distinctive physical properties of a stone. The results of the search can be backed up by macroscopic and thin-section photomicrographs of the sample and any geologically relevant information.

The database provides information regarding the use, quarry location / vicinity and distribution of the stone throughout various periods of history. The resource's ability to be manipulated in many different ways enables specific questions to be asked about trade and exchange, movement of materials and distribution.