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Lithic Residue Analysis

A review and guide to techniques

Shannon Croft
Publication Year:
120 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 23 figures and 2 tables.
BAR number:


Archaeological lithic residue analysis investigates the microscopic and chemical traces left behind by people on stone tools. These lithic residues provide detailed and compelling evidence of specific food and technological activities, and tool manufacturing choices. Interest in the study of lithic residues has grown substantially in the past decade, reflected by an increasing number of publications and a proliferation of techniques applied to their study. This monograph offers a recent and critical review of these technical advances to help archaeologists determine best practice today. The book focuses on the development of appropriate methods for improving the identification and interpretation of residues on stone tools. Over 40 techniques are reviewed, including transmitted and reflected visible light microscopy (VLM), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Raman microspectroscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIRM).

Shannon Croft is an archaeology curator and laboratory supervisor working in cultural resource management in Vancouver, Canada. She has investigated methods to reliably identify microscopic and chemical trace residues on stone tools at archaeological sites in the United Kingdom and Canada.

‘This book will be very useful for those new learners who want to understand residue techniques as well as lithic analysts looking to find new options for stone tools studies. Asian scholars will be interested in this new field of lithic study.’ Dr Hong Chen, Zhejiang University

Table of Contents (S3023_Croft_9781407358024_-_ToC.pdf, 216 Kb) [Download]

Introduction (S3023_Croft_9781407358024_-_Introduction.pdf, 4,143 Kb) [Download]