In The Groove Analysis


Birgitta Stephenson (Director ITGA) performing use-wear and residue analysis studies of in-situ grinding patches, Pilbara, Western Australia.

In the Groove Analysis Pty Limited (ITGA) provides cost-effective, efficient and reliable archaeological use-wear and residue analysis research and reporting.

ITGA specialises in the analysis of ground surfaces, including grindstones, and in-situ features such as grinding grooves, grinding hollows and grinding patches.

Analysis studies undertaken by ITGA incorporate an intensive and systematic sampling strategy, portable digital microscopy and adapted biochemical staining methods which have been specifically developed to highlight archaeological residues. ITGA’s biochemical staining of lifted residues relies on colourmetric changes rather than solely microscopic structural features to identify residues. This approach overcomes a number of ambiguities and limitations associated with microscopic identification of residues.

Our methodology allows for the identification of the history of grinding activities and previously unrecognised or overlooked grinding events. The analyses performed can result in a more informed understanding of past human behaviour across a wide range of archaeological contexts.

Stained collagen fibre viewed in cross polarised light 200x.

Stained collagen fibre viewed in cross polarised light 200x.

Most importantly the methods employed have proven to be reliable, inexpensive and non-destructive and allow for evidence to be preserved for future investigations.

In addition to commercial ventures ITGA’s Director, Birgitta Stephenson, is currently involved as a collaborator on a number of seminal Australian research projects. ITGA is continuing to develop new approaches to use-wear and residue analysis to help establish additional reliable independent lines of evidence to strengthen contemporary use-wear and residue analysis interpretations.

ITGA actively promotes the involvement of local community groups to assist with research activities in the field.  The sharing of information and hands on participation facilitates learning and provides greater understanding for all.