Development and Applications of a Minimally Destructive Method of Sourcing Shell via LA-ICP-MS
Author(s): Evan Peacock
Shell artifacts and shell-tempered ceramics can be chemically sourced to point of origin because shellfish are in approximate chemical equilibrium with the waterways they inhabit. Analyzing artifacts or shell temper via Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry is attractive due to the minimally destructive nature of the method. A pilot study in Mississippi funded by the NCPTT verified the potential of the method for sourcing shell-tempered pottery. Subsequent work includes the chemical sourcing of a prehistoric shell "spoon" and application of the method to encrustated pottery from the Hungarian Plain. Other scholars are now applying the method in a variety of archaeological settings, emphasizing the positive effect of NCPTT "seed money" for spurring innovative applications in low-impact archaeological research.
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Development and Applications of a Minimally Destructive Method of Sourcing Shell via LA-ICP-MS. Evan Peacock. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396859)
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