Robert Alexander Frederick Francis-Xavier IXER

Date of Birth:
March 1947


Marital Status:

Rob at work - circa 1980Education and Qualifications:
Southgate County Grammar School

Victoria University of Manchester: 1965-1972
B.Sc. Hons. Geology, upper second class. 1969
Ph.D. "Controls of Mineralization in Derbyshire" 1972

MIMM. Member of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. 1980- resigned 1998
C.Eng. Chartered Engineer. 1980- resigned 1998

FSA. Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. 2007-present

Institute of Linguists: Grade 2. German 1983

Visiting Research Fellow. Open University. May-Oct. 1986
Honorary Lecturer. University of Leicester. 1990-1993. 1997-1998.
Honorary Visiting Lecturer in Archaeological Science. University of Bradford. 1997-2002.
Honorary Visiting Fellow. University of Leicester. 2004-2010

Co-recipient of P.M. Buguley Prize for best paper in Proceedings of Prehistoric Society for 1992.

OU Field Trip to BroughEmployment:
University lecturer. University of Aston. Sept. 1972-1988
University lecturer. University of Birmingham. Sept. 1988-2001
Retired October 2001
Part-time university lecturer. University of Birmingham. 2001-2004
Visiting lecturer MSc Mining Course: Leicester University 1990-1993, 97-98
Course director, summer school tutor. Open University. 1973-1990

In the Namib Desert
Freelance Mineralogical Consultant - Robertson Research - B.P. Minerals International - Billiton Ltd. - R.T.Z. Geometallica, Namibia. Irish Geological Survey. Alaskan Gold Mines
Major lithic and ceramic consultancies since 1988 for Birmingham Archaeology, Canterbury Archaeological Trust, Alan Vince Consulting
Other minor consultancies for Mining Companies, Local Government; University and Polytechnic, Geology and Archaeology Departments and Field Units.
Devised Reflected Light Courses for Plymouth Polytechnic, Open University Summer School. Devised Summer School exercises and 20 minutes video for Open University.


Extramural Teaching:
W.E.A. Courses in Igneous petrology. Department of Extramural Studies, University of Birmingham courses in igneous petrology, optical mineralogy, ore deposit geology; 1990-1996 one and two day courses in Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Ore Minerals, Gemstones.Individual day to week-long courses in ceramic petrography 2001- present. Contributor to Archaeological M.Sc courses University of Birmingham and Institute of Archaeology University of London 2001 - 2009.

Durham Coast FieldtripMembership of National Committees since 1990:
Member editorial board, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. 1984-1993.
Steering Committee member, Mineral Deposits of Europe, Volumes 3, 4 and 5. Institution Mining and Metallurgy and Mineralogical Society. 1986-1990.
Committee member Implement Petrology Committee. Council for British Archaeology. 1991-1998
Organising committee member conference and abstract editor. Mineralization in the Caledonides, Edinburgh International Conference. 1996
Organising committee member Processes to Processing. IAGOD-SGA. London. 1997-1999
Chairman Implement Petrology Committee. 1998-2004.
Director and Trustee Council for British Archaeology. 1998-2000



Lake Bogoria, Kenya
Other Professional Activities:
Academic referee for many mineralogical, geological and archaeological journals.
Book reviewer for geological and archaeological journals.
External examiner for M.Sc and Ph.D thesis.
Joint organiser of NERC sponsored Reflected Light Short Course (6 days). 1979-1986
Expert witness (Parys Mountain) Nature Conservancy Council.
Regional petrologist (C.B.A) for Home Counties, West Midlands. 1991-2008.
Organiser of annual two day implement petrography workshops. 1991-1994.
Associate adviser British Council Training for mineralogy, economic geology, scientific archaeology, archaeometallurgy. 1994-present.
Correspondant Scientifique, Chronique de la Recherche Miniere. 1994-present.
External examiner - Earth and Environmental Science Research Techniques MSc, University of Manchester. 2001-2004

Relaxing at the Harvard Conference, 1997Invited speaker for conferences and meetings since 1995:
Open University. 1996 Chair and invited speaker 'Geology and Geochemistry in Archaeology'. Joint Open University and Mineralogical Society.
Harvard. 1997 Keynote speaker 'Metals in Antiquity' Conference. Universities of Harvard and Bradford.
Yorkshire Naturalist Union. 1998 Annual Conference. Harrogate.
British Museum. 1999 Lithics Anniversary Conference.
British Museum. 2001. Metals to ore - refining the process.
Guernsey Museum and Art Galleries/La Societe Guernesiase. 2001 Sark's Hope or Sark's Bane? Mining and Mineralization in the Channel Islands.
Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society. 2003. Bronze Age mining under the (ore) microscope.
University of York, Implement Petrology Group International Conference. 2007 Waiting by the River: Stonehenge and the Severn Estuary.
WANHS and Prehistoric Society Devizes. 'Stonehenge and Avebury Seminar'. 2010. "I have come after them and made repair"

Rob at British Museum, 2005 with Ann WoodwardPresent research:
Mineralogical and paragenetic studies of metal ores especially silver-bearing assemblages, gold and platinum group ores and low temperature sedimentary-hosted base metal deposits.
The ores, mines and mining of copper, tin and gold during the Bronze Age in Britain and Ireland and during the Iron Age in the Italian Alps.
The provenancing of lithic materials especially axe-heads, quernstones, hones/whetstones and bracers.
The detailed (metre to kilometre) provenancing of lithic archaeological materials using a combination of geochemistry and reflected and transmitted light petrography with special reference to the Stonehenge orthostats and debitage.
An investigation/re-investigation of the lithics of Stonehenge and its environs including material from Stonehenge Great Cursus/Cursus Field, The Heelstone, Stonehenge excavations May and September 2008, 'Bluestonehenge' 2009, Silbury Hill, Marden Henge.
The petrographical provenancing of Prehistoric and Anglo-Saxon ceramics within the British Isles, especially Beaker pottery.
The petrography of Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval ceramics in central and northern England.
The classification, manufacture and provenancing of Inka, Killke and Lucre ceramics from the Cuzco area, & Chimu and Chimu-Inka from coastal northern Peru.