Project Part 05: Installation of a Stone Sample Collection (Lithothek)



A.o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner


Thomas Bachnetzer Bakk. phil. 
Mag. phil. Beatrix Nutz
Julia Hammerschmied Bakk. phil. 

University of Innsbruck
Institute of Archaeologies
Center for Ancient Cultures
Langer Weg 11
A-6020 Innsbruck



In the course of the exploration of flint deposits in Tyrol, Vorarlberg and adjacent areas of the SFB HiMAT a practice oriented stone sample collection was installed. It is focused on west-alpine silica raw material of the key area with special attention on macroscopic and microscopic similar chert- and radiolarian rock varieties. This basic collection provides for further investigations on possibilities of differentiation of these difficult, or not at al, distinguishable SiO2-varieties in the east-alpine region. Furthermore the reference collection contains samples of significant resources of the adjacent catchment areas important for the raw material supply of western Austria, such as South-Tyrol, the Trentino and southern Bavaria. Samples from the best known resources used in prehistoric time from the remaining provinces of Austria and the Federal States of Germany (on a smaller scale) are also represented. A special group is the section of international flint resources. At least one thin-section will be available from each characteristic chert variety.

The system of the reference collection is based on a “core- and flake-level”, meaning that of each object a core and a flake is available. The core serves as demonstration of possible dimensions of the raw material, the flake providing evidence on the impact property of the material and being used for microscope analysis. In most cases the flakes were produced using a stone hammer in order to reconstruct prehistoric methods of raw material prospecting as closely as possible. This plays a decisive role in determining the quality of the raw material.
Macro- and micro-photos exist of every sample available in the reference collection, accessible on the database of the PP05 (system requirements: access authorisation to the Share-Point Portal of the SFB HiMAT and Microsoft Office Access 2007).


For on-site-inspection please contact Dr. Walter Leitner or Thomas Bachnetzer Bakk. phil.   

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to HiMAT-Homepage 


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