Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark BSc PhD FSA Scot
Welcome to flintwork.co.uk
I am a freelance lithics consultant based in Stromness, Orkney, Scotland. I specialise in Late Upper Palaeolithic to post medieval lithic industries of the British Isles and offer services to museums, universities and commercial archaeological organisations. These services are outlined further below, but include: desk-based consultancy, lithic identification, post-excavation assessment, analysis and publication. To discuss your specific requirements contact me on 07740 648774 or via e-mail.
Lithic identification, assessment, analysis and publication
Flint tools are the most durable of archaeological artefacts and flint scatters form an almost continuous spread across the British Isles. These artefacts provide an invaluable record of countless millennia of human activity, but they require specialist experience to unravel their story. Subtle changes in flake morphology and reduction technologies allow even the most unpromising assemblages to be dated, whilst consideration of edge-damage provides an insight into the post-depositional history of the artefacts. The composition of lithic assemblages and the range of retouched tools can further enlighten our understanding of activities from flintknapping to hide-preparation and plant-working.
As an experienced lithic specialist, I can undertake the analysis of your lithic assemblages and produce appropriate documentation, including evaluation reports, post-excavation assessments and publication reports. Typically, an assessment will involve the production of a catalogue in a custom designed Microsoft Access database, recording debitage and artefact forms and aspects of condition, such as burning, breakage, edge-damage and cortication. Detailed analyses offered include metrical analysis, technological attribute analysis, refitting and low-powered use-wear analysis.
Lithic-based sites present many challenges from the interpretation of cryptic and antiquarian terminology on the site and monument record to the formulation of detailed sampling strategies for excavations. Specialist knowledge is crucial to ensure that data is correctly interpreted and that excavation strategies have an informed research agenda and a methodology which is both practical and financially viable.
My detailed understanding of lithic technology and experience of excavating and publishing lithic scatters allows me to offer expert advice and provide personally tailored strategies for field survey, evaluation and excavation projects. I am also available for field-based consultation when lithic scatters have been unexpectedly encountered and mitigation strategies need to be rapidly formulated.
Flintknapping demonstrations and artefact replication
Flintknapping is the world oldest technology, yet it is rapidly becoming a forgotten craft. I use flintknapping as a tool to understand past technologies and site formation processes, but I also demonstrate this craft to the public at museums and archaeological open days.
I also manufacture replica artefacts for university and museum handling collections.
The illustration of flint artefacts is often essential to convey aspects of lithic technology. Photographic illustration is a rapid and cost effective method of illustrating flint tools. I employ a Canon D-SLR equiped with a macro lense and studio lighting to ensure high resolution artefact images of publication quality . Sample images are shown below: click on the images for full size versions.