Stones, stories and science
[extract] The following was presented as the Keynote Address at 'Archaeological Science Under a Microscope: A symposium in honour of Tom Loy', held in Emmanuel College, The University of Queensland, on 19 August 2006.
Tom Loy died suddenly in October 2005. He left behind unfinished books and ongoing research projects mostly related to prehistoric residue analyses in collaboration with students working at the University of Queensland. A year or so down the track, several of these projects have come to fruition (as theses and numerous publications), and new directions have emerged. It is therefore appropriate and timely that the organising committee (Gail Robertson, Alison Crowther, Luke Kirkwood, Michael Haslam and Sue Nugent) pulled together this symposium, primarily to honour Tom, but also to reflect on the discipline he left behind, to ask about its latest developments and to examine where it's headed. This is the task of this symposium. My purpose here is not to put Tom's life under a microscope, but to briefly reflect on three strands of knowledge he pioneered: stone tool function, the stories and reconstructions based on them, and archaeological science.