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OK. Here goes. I am not making this up. This is the ‘pelt’ of the microlith that I have been working on with archaeologist Gareth Beale of the University of Southampton. Pelt is his term, not mine, and the skinning of the microlith goes like this. First scan your microlith using x-rays to produce a 3D model of it, and at the same time take photos of the surface all around. Then stick the photos to the 3D model, so that the model becomes an exact replica, in shape and colour, of the original. Then, peel the colour surface off the model, allowing it to stretch and split so that what is a curved surface can be laid flat, just as an animal skin is stretched out. And there you have it, a pelted stone! It is in moments like this when I realise that there is nothing new; we progress spirally, round and round, revisiting the same point again and again, but each time with a slightly altered gaze. Thanks Gareth!

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