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Killian Driscoll

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Nestled on the western Mediterranean coast, Catalonia has a spectacular array of prehistoric, historic, and modern landscapes, from coastal plains to mountain peaks, lush orchards to picturesque vineyards.

Barcelona and Catalonia offer an outstanding range of archaeology and heritage sites and monuments to visit and explore, such as the caves where Neanderthals lived tens of thousands of years ago, the mysterious Stone Age dolmens in the Catalan hills, the UNESCO prehistoric rock art sites, the plethora of Roman ruins, and the majestic medieval castles, churches, and villages dotted throughout the landscape.

Are you ready to start exploring?

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Our Irish Lithic Landscapes project is featured on the National Geographic Explorers blog

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CALL FOR PAPERS ‘On the Rocks’
International Symposium on Knappable Materials University of Barcelona, Spain
As far as raw materials go, chert and other knappable stone stand out as some of the most common materials in the archaeological record, and at some sites the only preserved material. They were used in almost every corner of the world, from the Palaeolithic up until today. Use of these materials even predates the appearance of our own species. Being so widespread, both geographically as well as chronologically, this topic merits a global meeting of researchers to discuss and compare our findings. This symposium will cover all aspects of knapped stone raw materials from geological origin, to mining, usage, and laboratory analyses on these materials. Although we expect that there will be more focus on chert and other microcrystalline quartz varieties, we also encourage presentations related to other knappable materials such as obsidian, quartzite, rhyolite. Papers will be accepted on any culture or time period. Whether you are a field archaeologist, laboratory researcher, ethnographer or a modern day knapper yourself, we are interested in your research.
The symposium will focus on two major themes.
Theme 1 - Chaîne opératoire
• Raw material exploitation strategies — mining and surface collecting
• Ancient lithic trade and economics
• Stone tool production and processing techniques — modern and ancient
• Use-wear analyses — signs of usage on stone tools (a.k.a. traceology)
Theme 2 - Auxiliary sciences
• Microcrystaline quartz as a geological material
• Characterising lithic sources
• Lithotheques — collections of comparative raw materials
Several special topic sessions will be held regarding the following topics.
• Quartz and obsidian gemology
• Experimental flint knapping
• Mechanical devices for testing material performance
Submitting abstracts
The organisers of the symposium are now accepting abstracts for presentations. Abstracts should be around 300-400 words and may also contain one image. Please include the following information: (1) title; (2) presenter(s) along with their affiliated institutions and email addresses; (3) preferred session (see the ‘Sessions’ page); and (4) presentation type - oral or poster. Abstracts should be sent to Xavier Mangado at All papers will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 28 February 2015
More information
For more information, please visit the symposium website, or contact Xavier Mangado ( or the symposium secretariat (
This symposium is organised by SERP, Faculty of Geography and History, University of Barcelona, Spain.
First call for papers (pdf): 2014 - Call For Papers-sv.pdf

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10th International Symposium on Knappable Materials: On the Rocks, will be held at the University of Barcelona, September 2015.

Proposals for sessions, round tables and workshops can be submitted from 21 March to 31 August 2014.

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Archaeology project in Ireland 2014. The Irish Lithic Landscapes project is investigating the places where prehistoric communities obtained the raw materials for their flaked stone tools during the Irish Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Early Bronze Age, which dates to about 8,000–2,000 BC. This time period and region are critically important in global human history, as they include the complex transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers in what is often referred to as the 'Neolithic revolution', with related research questions regarding sedentism and social change.

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