I’d been thinking for a long time, how to translate those thoughts you acquire over the years about a subject into something vaguely coherent. As a student I was always wowed by the moments where some writers, in a book or paper, were able to open up clearly how they saw the archaeological record, but there never seems space in modern academic writing to do that.
Last year I was given the opportunity to write something for the Journal Lithics and came up with 23 statements on how I think about stone tools and how I think we should approach them. Of course these statements didn’t come from nowhere and owe a huge amount to those colleagues who over the years who have talked these ideas through with me in the pub or in the field. But this also comes from many conversations with students where I’ve tried to get them to think about what stone tools can and can’t tell us, and how we might develop a better understanding of the past from them. The questions they’ve asked back of me, helped to break a big subject down into manageable ideas.
Anyway, for better or worse, here’s a link to my 23 Propositions. Any feedback of course hugely welcome!
- Pope, M.I. (2016). Twenty-Three Propositions for Stone Artefact Studies.Lithics, 36 65-66.