Chert Sourcing Case Studies Part II: Landscape Distribution and Prehistoric Societies.

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The first part of this session explored the methods and techniques used to establish a chemical signature for chert. In the second part of the symposium, we explore how a wide range of raw materials – including chert as well as metals - are transformed into objects that, in turn, leave a signature in the material culture of past societies. Building on data generated from the geochemical analysis of chert and other raw materials, papers in this symposium will explore themes such as the site location and the availability and accessibility of sources of raw material; the scale of raw material procurement at quarries and mines; the “curation” of items and their meaning beyond utility; and sourced materials and their role in ritual.

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  • Documents (4)

  • Archaeological Visibility at Stélida, Naxos: Identifying Activity Hubs at a Palaeolithic Chert Quarry in the Cyclades (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sean Doyle. Tristan Carter. Daniel Contreras.

    This paper details the methodology used by the Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP) to distinguish primary activity areas within a Palaeolithic chert quarry. This work is undertaken in a challenging artifact-rich landscape that has undergone significant post-depositional modification through various environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbance. The two-year non-invasive survey involved walking numerous transect lines to produce a broad-stroke impression of artifact density, which...

  • Color Matters: The Selection and Use of Lithic Raw Materials in Viking Age and Medieval Iceland (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kevin Smith.

    As our abilities to source stone tools increase, our questions become ever more sophisticated as our methodologies reach deeper into the elemental and isotopic levels and an ever-broadening range of statistical analyses. Yet we also recognize that lithic raw materials were selected by their past users for entirely different reasons. A wide range of approaches have been used to explore the roles of proximity, accessibility, mechanical qualities, and exchange relationships, among others, in...

    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Pintar. Nora Franco. Jorge G. Martínez.

    The peopling of South America is a subject that has been discussed from many angles, including timing, migration routes, genetics, among others, and at various scales of analysis. In this paper we take on a supra-regional scale of analysis and examine stone tool assemblages from a series of Pleistocene/Holocene transition and Early-Middle Holocene sites located in two desert areas on the eastern side of the Andes –Patagonia and the high Puna. Our objective is to assess how these lithic...

  • The Preferential Collection and Use of Ochre Pigments and Iron Ores at Twin Rivers Kopje, Zambia (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Zipkin. Alison Brooks. John Hanchar. Kathy Schick. Nicholas Toth.

    Twin Rivers Kopje, Zambia is a Middle and Later Stone Age site first excavated by J. Desmond Clark that has yielded extensive evidence of mineral pigment collection and use dating to as old as 300,000 years ago. In this study, we sampled pigment sources within 25 km of Twin Rivers for digital colorimetry and trace element fingerprinting using Laser Ablation - Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. In addition, all pigment excavated from the site by Clark was analyzed for sourcing....