By Adrian Burke, David Field, Margaret Brewer-LaPorta

Fourteen papers discover a number of concerns on the subject of prehistoric extraction websites, together with ethnography, geochemical signatures, the appliance of neutron activation research, exploitation of erratics, excavation, survey and conservation.

issues contain quernstone extraction, use of hammers, phases of extraction, geographical and social contexts, altering social regimes, the ritualised nature of trips to quarry websites, research of petrofabrics, and the consequences of joint and cleavage on quarrying perform. contributions are in French with prolonged summaries in English.

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Human burials have also been recorded, particularly at Cissbury (cf. Topping 2005). The presence of both flint and stone axes within some mine shafts bears consideration. Ethnographic records suggest such patterns of deposition may represent the return of tools to their place of origin as part of a process of symbolic renewal. This would explain the 300+ axe rough-outs recovered by excavation from Grime’s Graves or the cache of axes at Harrow Hill, where 33 ‘in various stages of manufacture’ were discovered in Shaft III (Holleyman 1937, 239).

Photo by P. Storemyr. g. Wendorf 1968). Later, Vermeersch (2002) and his colleagues have undertaken long-term research at Palaeolithic flint quarrying sites in Upper and Middle Egypt. The vast Eastern and Western Deserts are still virtually unknown in terms of prehistoric tool quarries, but surely many exist in these regions. Needless to say, such quarrying sites are extremely vulnerable to modern development activities, especially now that large-scale development of desert areas is high on the political agenda in Egypt.

Geologically, the axe ‘factories’ are located in the uplands of the north and west of the UK, whereas the flint mines are largely restricted to the relatively low-lying chalk of southern England with a further two sites on secondary gravels in Aberdeenshire in north-east Scotland (cf. Saville 2005). The paper will build upon previous discussions (Barber et al. g. the role of ritualised journeys to stone and flint sources, locational preferences, the evidence for ritualised extraction, and the use-life and cultural role of artefacts of mined stone.

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