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ARO4: The Late Neolithic pitchstone artefacts from Barnhouse, Orkney – an unusual assemblage from an unusual site

ARO4: The Late Neolithic pitchstone artefacts from Barnhouse, Orkney – an unusual assemblage from an unusual site

By Torben Bjarke Ballin
Lithic Research/Honorary Research Fellow, University of Bradford

In the late 1980s, Colin Richards, University of Manchester, excavated an extensive Late Neolithic settlement at Barnhouse on Orkney (Richards 2005) (Figure 1). The excavation revealed a number of house structures of Skara Brae type (Clarke & Maguire 1989; Foster 2006), and in and around these houses a large lithic assemblage of 1,585 pieces was recovered (Middleton 2005). This assemblage consisted mainly of flint, but a surprisingly numerous sub-assemblage of pitchstone artefacts (23 pieces) was also retrieved.

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