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♦ Spencer Carter

9 thoughts on “Contact

  1. As a new PhD student interested in pursuing lithic technology and environmental change during the Mesolithic period in Southern England, I have found this blog to be very helpful in obtaining more information as to current research projects. Thanks for setting it up!

  2. Thank you for sharing the very useful advice for photographing finds.
    Can you advise me where the windsor background cards can be obtained. I self record on PAS and usually struggle with decent backgrounds when recording lithics.

    • Hi Ian, any good quality card will do – if you have a decent artists’ shop or I’m pretty sure the big chain Staples will do it. For right now I’m having more success with opaque display blocks sat on a white bakground or a mirror. They allow enough light to underlie the object and so reduce shadows and edge-contrast problems (see for supplier info). Lighting is always the tricky thing – no flash, no tungston/yellowish light. I invested in a proper photo-light (white balance and can also be filtered) which I use with or without degrees of daylight. With lithics, the key is to try pick out the nuances of flake removals and retouching. For supporting a thin or irregular object, I use either blue tack or silicone ‘ear plugs’ which you can get at Boots.

      Black backgrounds for stone tools are probably the most attractive, but the most difficult to get right – especially where one needs a depth of field. Professionals (I’m self-taught) can photoshop objects onto backgrounds, but for me it’s about speed, accuracy and effieciency – especially when doing commercial reports. The constant bugbear is “dust” which causes speckling, especially when using a macro-lens.

      Hope this is helpful? -Spence

  3. Hi Spencer, I have a bit of a problem.. I have been trying to find out what the translation of the term ‘casson’ (French – a kind of debitage I think) means in English. Have you got any ideas? Any help would be gratefully received.
    Regards Neil Barden

    • Hi Neil, I checked the multilingual glossaries in “Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone” by Inizan et al but can’t find the term. Closest is “Cassure” meaning break. You might want to post the question on the Lithics Studies Society Fb page?

      Best wishes, Spencer

  4. great blog full of interesting info. i’m sure this will become an important point of reference which will assist my research.

    we’re currently in the process of negotiating farm access for fieldwalking with the National Trust and the three county councils of Dyfed. thousands of acres, years of fieldwalking, and hopefully a bit of coring/test-pitting/excavation ahead of us. we’ve already surveyed much of one farm in Carmarthenshire and though finds are sparse we don’t care – it’s survey work not a trainspotting exercise.

    keep up the good work. if it’s ok i’ll probably have a few questions for you at some point.

    best wishes,


    • Hi Rhod, that sounds fantastic, and thank you for making contact. Questions are fine, and if I can’t answer, I usually no somebody who can help. I also do lithics training workshops – for all levels and interests – with replica assemblages and such. I can help with recording protocols (fieldwork through to archival), for which there’s no ‘manual’. Systematic fieldwork is spot-on. Blank spaces, and understanding them, as as important as the artefact-rich clusters within landscapes. Wishing you well! -Spence
      ( | where there are links to useful resources and research frameworks)

      PS, be aware of (and I’m sure you are!):
      Lillie, M. 2015. Hunters, Fishers & Foragers in Wales. Oxbow.
      David, A. 2007. Palaeolothic and Mesolithic Settlement in Wales. Archaeopress (BAR 448).

  5. Hi Spencer
    Would you like an update on Ranscombe for Microburin? e.g 365 items forming just over 2.6% of the 13,500+ assemblage go into re-fitting groups.

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