Rock, Paper,….XRF….: Continuing Improvements to the UI-OSA Lithic Raw Material Assemblage

Author(s): Mark Anderson

Year: 2015


The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) has an expansive lithic raw material assemblage with a 30 year compilation history. The largest portion contains multiple samples of 75 in-state lithic types while the second portion contains multiple samples from the seven surrounding and 16 additional states. A revision and reorganization of the OSA collection was completed in 2006 to provide a more systematic and consistent approach to lithic identification and sourcing. This includes a web-based version affording access to our entire assemblage from anywhere. Originally a macroscopic identification system, we soon realized the need for expansion. We have recently posted multiple, 20x microscopic images for all in-state samples. Geologic thin sections of numerous samples are currently in production through collaborative research with anticipated application to the entire in-state assemblage. Using a portable XRF, we are building a chemical and elemental database for all in-state samples. These expanded analytical tools will afford us the opportunity to investigate several geographically and stratigraphically problematic types within the in-state assemblage. Since lithic materials so often dominate prehistoric artifact assemblages, a well-developed comparative assemblage offering more than macroscopic analysis, could afford researchers the opportunity to address a myriad of anthropological questions.

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Cite this Record

Rock, Paper,….XRF….: Continuing Improvements to the UI-OSA Lithic Raw Material Assemblage. Mark Anderson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395618)


assemblage Lithics XRF

Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;