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Determining Geochemical Variability of Fine-Grained Basalt Sources/Quarries for Facilitating Prehistoric Interaction Studies in Polynesia

Author(s): Robert Bolhar ; Marshall Weisler ; Tyler Faith ; Michel Charleaux ; Yuexing Feng

Year: 2015

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Summary

William "Bill" Dickinson has long been interested in tracking interaction between Pacific Island societies by comparing temper sands of prehistoric ceramics and, more recently, thin section descriptions of basalt adzes. Fine grained basalt sources or quarries anchor ancient interaction spheres, yet few of the dozens of adze quarries found throughout Polynesia are known in sufficient detail to understand intra-source variability. This fundamental data is essential for confidently assigning transported artifacts to quarries. Using a geologically informed protocol in concert with statistical applications, we document the intra-quarry geochemical variability of oxides, trace elements, and isotopes for the large fine-grained basalt source on Eiao, Marquesas Islands, East Polynesia. Incorporating this methodology with sourcing studies at the geographic scale of island, archipelago, and region will provide more credible artifact source assignments and thus enhance our understanding of prehistoric interaction networks throughout Polynesia.

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Determining Geochemical Variability of Fine-Grained Basalt Sources/Quarries for Facilitating Prehistoric Interaction Studies in Polynesia. Marshall Weisler, Robert Bolhar, Michel Charleaux, Tyler Faith, Yuexing Feng. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395133)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Oceania


Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America