Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


28 January 2011

The use of SEM-EDS, PIXE and EDXRF for obsidian provenance studies in the Near East: a case study from Neolithic Çatalhöyük (central Anatolia)

Gérard Poupeau, François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec, Tristan Carter, Sarah Delerue, M. Steven Shackley, Jean-Alix Barrat, Stéphan Dubernet, Philippe Moretto, Thomas Calligaro, Marina Milić, Katsuji Kobayashi Journal of Archaeological Science 37.11 (November 2010): 2705-2720.


In this paper we evaluate the relative analytical capabilities of SEM-EDS, PIXE and EDXRF for characterizing archaeologically significant Anatolian obsidians on the basis of their elemental compositions. The study involves 54 geological samples from various sources, together with an archaeological case study involving 100 artifacts from Neolithic Çatalhöyük (central Anatolia). With each technique the artifacts formed two compositional groups that correlated with the East Göllü Dağ and Nenezi Dağ sources. The non-destructive capabilities of these methods are emphasized (albeit with certain analytical limitations in the case of SEM-EDS), suggesting important new techniques for Near Eastern obsidian provenance studies.


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