QUB | Archaeology and Palaeoecology | The 14Chrono Centre

Data-handling Methods for Quaternary microfossils

K.D. Bennett

December 1999

TILIA 2.0 by Eric Grimm

These pages are being updated and extended regularly


Tilia 2.0 consists of a suite of programs for the plotting and analysis of stratigraphic data, such as pollen and diatoms. It is nicely introduced by Eric Grimm in the following account available with instructions for contributing data to NOAA:

Tilia is an MS-DOS program designed to record and display - in conjunction with Tilia·Graph - stratigraphic data. Tilia and Tilia·Graph are particularly designed for pollen data, but can be used for a wide variety of stratigraphic, geologic, and ecological data.

With Tilia you enter your sample and variable information and then fill in the spreadsheet with your data. Tilia includes forms for recording metadata such as site information (site name, latitude, longitude, etc.), radiocarbon dates, publications, and chronologies. You can calculate sample ages based on the chronology information you entered in the forms.

Tilia·Graph plots pollen or other stratigraphic data. You have a high degree of control over the diagram format: graphs may be plotted as silhouette curves, hisograms, presence/absence, or raw numbers. Curves can be filled with a variety of patterns. Depth bars and exaggerated curves can also be plotted.You can create cumulative or overlaid graphs.You can scale both horizontal and vertical axes; define major, minor, and labeled tic marks; and enter axis labels. You can optionally plot by age or by depth. Graph names can be plotted at any angle from 0 to 90 degrees, in one of several fonts.

Tilia and Tilia·Graph were developed by Dr. Eric Grimm at the Illinois State Museum (grimm@museum.state.il.us). Tilia is available free of charge; Tilia·Graph costs US$250.

The versions of Tilia and Tila·Graph described here are 2.b.0.5. The distributed package includes a third program, CONISS, which carries out Constrained Incremental Sums of Squares analysis on a Tilia file.

Getting help

There are two sources of help: a developing FAQ web page at NOAA and a listserver, where Tilia users post questions, and Eric Grimm and others suggest answers. The following information about the listserver is taken from the Tilia FAQ:

TILIA-L - The Tilia Users' List

The Tilia Users' List exists to share information and news concerning both Tilia and Tilia·Graph. Such information shall include: help on using and installing the programs, tips for beginning and advanced users, bug reports and work-arounds, and upgrade announcements.

How to subscribe:
Users must subscribe themselves to this list. They should address a message to:
with the contents of their message being:
subscribe tilia-l <their-full-name>
subscribe tilia-l Carolus Linnaeus
The subject line of the message should be blank.
How to unsubscribe:
You may leave the list at any time by sending a UNSUBSCRIBE TILIA-L command to listproc@lists.colorado.edu. Please note that this command must NOT be sent to the list address (TILIA-L) but to the TILIA-L LISTPROC address (LISTPROC).
To remove yourself from this list, address a message to:
with the contents of the message being:
unsubscribe tilia-l
To repeat: this command must NOT be sent to the list address (TILIA-L). PLEASE note the address: listproc@lists.colorado.edu
How to send a message to the list:
To send to the list, address messages to:
Your message will be sent to everyone who is subscribed to the list. You must be a member of TILIA-L to send a message to the list. As currently set up, you will receive a copy of your postings.

Getting started

Tilia and Tilia·Graph are available from Eric Grimm, Illinois State Museum, who can supply a complete package. Upgrades of the main binaries (but not ancillary files) are available by anonymous ftp: vers. 2.0.b.4 and vers. 2.0.b.5.


Tilia menus
The opening menu of Tilia looks like:

Enter A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | Q


Tilia·Graph menus
Tilia·Graph opens with a full-screen graphic:

After a few seconds (fewer if the spacebar is pressed), the opening menu appears:

Enter A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | Q

Copyright © 1999 K.D. Bennett

Archaeology and Palaeoecology | 42 Fitzwilliam St | Belfast BT9 6AX | Northern Ireland | tel +44 28 90 97 5136

Archaeology and Palaeoecology | The 14Chrono Centre | URL http://www.qub.ac.uk/arcpal/ | WebMaster