Skip to main content

Silcrete as a lithic material in global context: session call for papers

Next year I'll be running a session at "On the Rocks",  the 10th International Symposium on Knappable Materials, in Barcelona.


Here's some information for the session, and the symposium.
Conference fees for those attending include coffee, cocktail party (hopefully with ice as shown in the conference poster above!), and dinner too. Unusually, and positively, postdocs are counted as students for fees. There may also be the option to present via webcast.
I'm hoping for lots of great papers submitted to my session- there must be tons of other silcrete fans out there, right?!



Silcrete as a lithic raw material in global context: geology, sourcing and techno-economics
 
The exploitation of silcrete deposits by humans for tool production is a subject gaining increasing focus in international research, and is at the heart of recent discoveries relating to the evolution of technology and other aspects of human behaviour in various contexts (e.g. Brown et al. 2009; Schmidt et al. 2013).
A siliceous stone formed in diverse contexts, silcrete is found across all inhabited continents, but is highly variable in terms of its geological context and its qualities in regard to knapping. Perhaps due to its complexities it has not received attention as a lithic category in the same way as other rocks such as flint or quartzite, despite its potential for throwing light on human approaches to such a widely distributed material. This session is aimed at bringing together researchers working on silcrete in the global archaeological record, in order to promote exchange of methodologies and results from very different time periods and regions.
Contributions focusing on the formation of silcrete, its characteristics and identification, as well as sourcing will allow a “state-of-the-art” presentation of geological research on this stone type. Additionally, papers examining the techno-economics of silcrete exploitation (quarrying/acquisition, knapping technology, heat-treatment, hafting, modalities of tool transfer/ exchange) as well as the wider contexts of use and deposition of this material will allow researchers to exchange data, ideas and approaches to studying the archaeology of this stone.

Abstracts may be submitted between 6 October 2014 and 28 February 2015.
Abstracts should be 300-500 words.
They may also contain one image.
Please include also the following information for each contribution:
(1) preferred session (see the Sessions web page);
(2) title;
(3) presenter(s) and affiliated institution and email address of each;
(4) presentation type: oral or poster.
If you feel that you will be unable to attend the symposium in person and would like to give an oral presentation online or submit a poster for display (without attending the symposium in person), please let us know. As there will only be a limited number of online presentations possible, we might not be able to accept all requests to present online. Please contact us as early as possible to discuss this.
All papers will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee and in the case of special sessions also by the session organisers.
Replies regarding acceptance will be given by 31 March 2015.
Abstracts can be submitted either online via the abstract submissions page (ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM), or by emailing them directly to the symposium organisers ( abstracts@cherts-symp2015.net ).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wherefore Art Thou, Neanderthal?

Adventures in Silcrete: "It's flint Jim, but not as you know it!"

Something that everyone who works in the archaeology of deep prehistory has to get to grips with is the technology of stone tools, or lithics. This includes thinking about the ways in which people made their tools, which techniques they chose to use, etc. It also means that Palaeolithic archaeologists, alongside needing to know stuff about climatology, palaeontology, and ecology, need to delve into the science of geology. People in prehistory might not have understood the origins of different kinds of rocks, but they certainly appreciated the diversity in stone qualities, not only between very different rock types but also within geological/mineral categories.


These two Neandertal tools that I studied for my PhD, called handaxes, are both very finely worked, but made from completely different rocks. The one on the left (Castle Lane, Bournemouth) is made from Cretaceous flint found in the south and east of Britain, and the one on the right (Coygan Cave) from rhyolite, a volcanic stone…

Geological Road Trip: Volcanic landscapes of the Massif Central

Geology and geography are fundamental to archaeologists in understanding the landscape contexts that people of the past lived within. While climate and environments have drastically altered over the time span of the Palaeolithic, the topography often, on a broad scale, remains relatively similar. Erosion can be extensive, river systems can change course (the Thames used to flow much further north than it now does for example), and the great depth of sediment accumulation in some areas changed local situations. But the big stuff made of rock like plateaux, mountains and watersheds have remained relatively static over the time hominins have been around. There are exceptions to this however, primarily in the form of volcanism and tectonic action, and the region I'm working in is a textbook example. Here in the Massif Central, there is a long history of volcanic action of many types, the most recent of which occurred less than 5000 years ago- well within the history of human settleme…