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Robert Ixer
  • Dr Robert Ixer
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate
  • r.ixer@btnternet.com
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Robert Ixer

A geologist by training and reflected light microscopist by passion, Robert is now using his skills in the service of archaeology.

He has taught mineralogy/petrography in both transmitted and reflected light and economic geology/mineral deposits for over 30 years, mainly at Russell Group universities. He did much consulting for gold, platinum group metals, silver-lead-zinc, copper and a little uranium, more fun and probably of greater value than the teaching.

He described his first thin section from a prehistoric pot in 1974 and has gone onto describe many hundreds since. Robert was Chairman of the Mad Axe group (Implement petrology (polished stone axes) group) in the 80s and helped to pioneer the virtues of proper ore mineralogy in archaeometallurgy during the 90s. He continued very detailed petrographical studies of Stonehenge and its bluestones into the new century.

Research Interests

  • The bluestones of Stonehenge and their geographical origins
  • Detailed descriptions of lithics including quernstones, polished stone axes, bracers and hones
  • Prehistoric pottery fabrics especially Beakers less so the Iron Age. The younger the are the less they interest him
  • Inka and Pre-Inka pottery fabrics

He has a long time association with Sara Lunt and Bill Sillar, investigating the significance of Inka/Pre-inka pottery.

He assists Mike Parker Pearson petrographically in his exploration of the Stonehenge Landscape and associated Welsh sites.

  • Rob A. Ixer, Richard E. Bevins and Andy P. Gize. 2015. Hard ‘Volcanics with sub-planar texture’ in the Stonehenge Landscape. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 108, 1-14.
  • Rob Ixer, Sara Lunt, Bill Sillar and Patrick Thompson 2014. Microscopic Rocks and Expansive Empires: Investigating Inca Ceramics from Cuzco, Peru. Archaeology International 17 Institute of Archaeology University of London. 122- 136.
  • Rob Ixer, Sara Lunt and Bill Sillar 2014. The use of andesite temper in Inca and pre-Inca pottery from the region of Cuzco, Peru. In “Craft and Science: International perspectives on archaeological ceramics” M.Martinón-Torres Ed, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation. Dohar 31 – 38.
  • Richard E. Bevins, Rob A Ixer and Nick J.G.Pearce 2014. Carn Goedog is the likely major source of Stonehenge doleritic bluestones: evidence based on compatible element geochemistry and Principal Component Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 42, 179-193.
  • Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins 2013. Chips off the old block: the Stonehenge debitage dilemma. Archaeology in Wales, 52, 11-22
  • Christopher Cumberpatch, Ian Roberts, D. Alldritt, C. Batt, G. D. Gaunt, D. Greenwood, J. Hudson, M.J. Hughes, R.A. Ixer, J. Meadows, P. Weston and J. Young. 2013. Stamford Ware Pottery Kiln in Pontefract: A Geographical Enigma and a Dating Dilemma. Medieval Archaeology, 57, 111-150.
  • Richard E. Bevins and Rob A. Ixer 2013 Carn Alw as a source of the rhyolitic component of the Stonehenge bluestones: a critical reappraisal of the petrographical account of H.H. Thomas. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, 3293-3301.
  • Rob A. Ixer and Richard E. Bevins, with a contribution from Mike Pitts. 2013. A re-examination of rhyolitic bluestone ‘debitage’ from the Heelstone and other areas within the Stonehenge Landscape. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 106, 1-15.
  • J Derek Hurst and Susan M Wright with contributions by Michael J Hughes and Robert A Ixer 2012. Midlands purple and Cistercian-type wares in the West Midlands in the 15th–16th centuries. Medieval Ceramics 32, 55–64.
  • Richard E. Bevins, Rob A. Ixer, Peter C. Webb and John S. Watson. 2012. Provenancing the rhyolitic and dacitic components of the Stonehenge landscape bluestone lithology: new petrographical and geochemical evidence. Journal of Archaeological Science,39, 1005-1019.
  • Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins. 2011. Craig Rhos-y-felin, Pont Saeson is the dominant source of the Stonehenge rhyolitic ‘debitage’. Archaeology in Wales, 50, 21-31.
  • Richard E. Bevins, Nick J.P. Pearce and Rob A. Ixer. 2011. Stonehenge rhyolitic bluestone sources and the application of zircon chemistry as a new tool for provenancing rhyolitic lithics. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38, 605-622.
  • Rob.A.Ixer and Richard E. Bevins. 2011. The detailed petrography of six orthostats from the bluestone circle, Stonehenge. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 104, 1-14.
  • Rob Ixer, Peter Webb, John Watson and Philip Potts. 2011. Rocks and rock sources. In Ann Woodward, John Hunter, David Bukach, Peter Webb, Rob Ixer, John Watson and Phillip Potts 2011 An examination of Prehistoric Stone Bracers from Britain. Oxbow Books. Oxford 19-45.
  • Henry P. Chapman, Mark Hewson, Margaret S. Watters, Lawrence Barfield, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Gordon Cook, Rowena Gale, Pam Grinter, Derek Hamilton, Rob Ixer, Peter Marshall, Wendy Smith and Ann Woodward. 2010. The Catholme Ceremonial Complex, Staffordshire, UK. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 76, 135-163.
  • Rob.A.Ixer and Richard E. Bevins. 2010. The petrography, affinity and provenance of lithics from the Cursus Field, Stonehenge. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 103, 1-15.
  • Rob Ixer and Alan Vince. 2009. The provenance potential of igneous glacial erratics in Anglo-Saxon ceramics from Northern England. In: Interpreting Silent Artefacts. Petrographic Approaches to Archaeological Ceramics. Pattrick Quinn (ed). Archaeopress. Oxford.11-24.
  • Timothy Darvill, Geoffrey Wainwright, Kayt Armstrong and Rob Ixer 2008. Strumble-Preselli ancient communities and environment study (SPACES): Sixth Report 2007-08. Archaeology in Wales. 48, 47

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