The ‘Stone in Archaeology – Towards a Digital Resource’
project is based on the large archaeological comparative rock collection
housed in the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton.
The main aim of the project has been to create an easily accessible,
unique, multidisciplinary, searchable relational database which comprises
the principal stones known to be used in antiquity throughout England.
This database 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 each sample and any geologically relevant information. The resource
also 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 is one
of its strengths.
Currently the database contains over 200 stones, 300 quarry locations
and 500 usage examples. However, we see this as not the end of the project,
but the beginning, as the resource will remain ‘open’ to
receive further information from academics, local interest groups and
the general public.