Institute of Archaeology

Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis

This course will examine the different ways in which human behaviour is reflected in the production and use of knapped and ground stone artefacts.

We will explore a variety of analytical approaches and the ways these can be used for the interpretation of technological, cognitive, economic, and social issues.

The Institute has extensive tool reference material, and we will concentrate on material from Europe, the Near East, and Africa. The possibility to undertake experimental flint knapping will also be given.

Aims of the course

The aims of the course are:

  • To promote a comprehensive understanding of the type of information that lithic artefacts can provide about past human behaviour.
  • To explore the range of analytical techniques, methods and theoretical perspectives lithic specialists employ to study stone tool assemblages


On successful completion of this course a student should:

  • Be familiar with the analytical and theoretical approaches used in lithic analysis.
  • Understand the ways in which lithics as a form of material culture inform us about the human past.
  • Be able to critically evaluate reports on, and interpretations of lithic assemblages.
  • Be familiar with a range of case studies related to specific aspects of lithic analysis.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should have developed:

  • Observational skills and critical reflection
  • Oral presentation skills
  • The ability to apply acquired knowledge of a topic
  • Be familiar with basic knapping skills

Teaching Methods

The course is taught through a series of lectures, seminars and discussion, and practical work.

Course information

  • Code: ARCLG113
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator:  Ignacio de la Torre
  • Prerequisite: You should have some background in lithics (from an undergraduate course or part of a course, through professional experience).
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students


  • Running in 2017-18

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