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LIR – Lithotheque Ireland

Reference collection of flaked stone tool raw materials from Ireland

Cretaceous flint Northern Ireland


LIR (Lithotheque Ireland) is a reference collection of flaked stone tool raw materials from Ireland, comprising a physical collection of geological hand samples and thin sections held at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Ireland, and an online database to be used alongside the reference collection or as a standalone resource. The collection and database are managed by Killian Driscoll, and based primarily on the geological prospection from two projects. The first (2013-2015) focused attention primarily on Carboniferous cherts from the northwest of Ireland. The second (2015-2017) is currently collecting samples of the Cretaceous flint primarily from in situ contexts in the northeast of Ireland, but also includes beach surveys of Cretaceous flint from around the island. To date the collection contains over 600 hand samples of chert / flint, along with a small number of other materials (siliceous limestone, tuff, mudstone).

A number of other geological hand samples and thin sections have been added to the collection from previous projects of Killian Driscoll and Julian Menuge, School Of Earth Sciences, UCD. These include silicified dolomite from a 2010-2011 project on an assemblage (primarily Later Mesolithic) from around Lough Allen, NW Ireland, and vein quartz (automorphic quartz) from a 2006-2010 project on an assemblage (Later Mesolithic and Neolithic) from Belderrig, County Mayo. It is hoped that over the coming years the reference collection will be added to, covering a greater range of both raw materials and geographic scope.

The LIR database will go live in the coming months, along with a number of related webpages (linked at top of this page) concerning the collection's maps, image gallery, reference collection and database structure (and metadata) and glossary. If you wish to be contacted when the database is available, please email Killian Driscoll at the address below.

  • Lithics Ireland Consultancy
  • Galway, Ireland