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Title: Archaeological and geochemical investigation of flint sources in Britain and Ireland
Author: Bradley, Seosaimhin Aine
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 6192
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2017
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This study investigates the archaeological use of flint in Britain and Ireland from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age through geochemical analysis of flint samples obtained from the major areas of chalk geology within these islands (Northern, Southern, Transitional, and Northern Ireland), and provenancing of artefactual assemblages. Recent approaches to provenancing flint have demonstrated that this is indeed possible, however this approach encompasses a larger study area and provides a comparison of two methodologies, one destructive (acid digestion ICP-MS) and one non-destructive (pXRF). Acid digestion ICP-MS and pXRF are capable of detecting a range of elements in a given sample, although they each have specific advantages and disadvantages when applied to archaeological material. There are three main research questions that are addressed in this thesis: ● Determine geochemical composition of flint samples from primary chalk outcrops; ● Assess differences between flint from different chalk provinces; ● Compare acid digestion ICP-MS and pXRF in achieving these objectives. The results indicate that flint from the major areas of chalk geology in Britain and Ireland can be distinguished using the methodologies stated above. There are some difficulties in distinguishing between the Southern and Northern Ireland chalk province flint samples, however the samples from the Northern chalk province are very well differentiated. Archaeological assemblages chosen from throughout the study area and from a wide chronological span were sampled using pXRF and subjected to statistical analysis. This thesis represents the first study of flint from both Britain and Ireland using two different analytical methods, with results applied to a variety of archaeological assemblages. More broadly, it provides a foundation for future geochemical analysis of flint to supplement ongoing research in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology