click to enlarge
Chert collecting

Pitchstone Auchagallon

North Roe Survey

Surveying chert outcrops on
Orkney; pitchstone outcrops on
Arran; & felsite outcrops on

Lithic Research is a one-man research facility carrying out basic and sophisticated analyses of lithic assemblages and their contexts. The unit was established in 1999 by Dr. Torben Bjarke Ballin.

Specialist services are provided to archaeological units, universities and museums, tayloring approach and methodology to your specific situation: the lithic material, its research potential, and funding. Advice and specialist analyses are offered at all stages from project planning to publication.

Lithic Research offers examination of lithic assemblages from all periods, in flint, chert, and quartz, as well as in less common raw-materials, such as pitchstone, bloodstone, baked mudstone, mylonite, etc.

A basic lithic analysis would usually encompass classification of the assemblage and production of an archive catalogue and a short report (basic description of assemblage and site, and estimated date).

A more sophisticated analysis would not only deal with classification and cataloguing of the lithic assemblages; it would also include raw material analysis, attribute analysis of blades, cores or tools, stylistic analysis, distribution analysis, or refitting of the assemblage, as required by the client or made necessary by the material in question. In this case, an extensive report would be produced, including detailed description of assemblage and site, estimated date, technology, intra-site spatial organisation, economy, comparison with other relevant sites and regions, etc.

In connection with more complex multi-phased sites, it is important that attempts are made to identify the different chronological units, which may subsequently be analysed individually. ‘Dissection’ of sites is generally carried out as a combined typo-technological/raw material assessment (diagnostic elements) and distribution analysis.

Lithic Research ensures quality products at competitive prices - budgets and dead-lines are taken seriously.