Annelou van Gijn

Stiff wrappers. 290 pp. Richly illustrated. Sidestone Press 2010.

The biographies of flint objects reveal their various and changing roles in prehistoric life. Using raw material sourcing, technological analysis, experimental archaeology, microwear and residue studies the author tells the story of flint from the Early Neolithic to its virtual demise in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, incorporating data from settlements, burials and hoards from the region of the present-day Netherlands. This richly illustrated book shows the way flint functioned in daily life, how simple domestic tools became ritualized, how flint was used to negotiate change and how the biography of flint objects was related to personhood.
Annelou van Gijn is professor of Material Culture and Artefact Studies at the Universities of Leiden and Groningen. She is particularly interested in the cultural biography of artefacts, especially of stone and bone tools, as well as ornaments, and uses microscopy to study traces of manufacture and use. She is the author of books and numerous articles on the Neolithic of the Netherlands, lithic studies and microwear analysis.

“Expert, thorough and readable. Prehistorians everywhere will find it relevant and insightful...”
John Whittaker (Grinnell College)

“The book we have been waiting for. Flint in Focus puts the uses of stone at the heart of a biographical approach to Neolithic and Bronze Age lithics. With a wealth of insights on the practical and social significance of stone and stoneworking, this groundbreaking study is a model of integrated research.”
Mark Edmonds (University of York)

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