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Long-Term Perspectives from Obsidian Sourcing in the Southern Levant

Author(s): Katharina Streit ; Tristan Carter ; Kathryn Campeau ; Danny Rosenberg ; Yosef Garfinkel

Year: 2015

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This poster details the elemental characterization of obsidian artefacts from three prehistoric sites in Israel: Beisamoun, Nahal Lavan 109 and Tel Tsaf. Raw material sourcing was achieved using the non-destructive technique of EDXRF spectroscopy, matching the chemical fingerprint of the artefacts’ materials with those from known obsidian sources. With the assemblages spanning the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B to Chalcolithic (9th – 6th millennia BC), our aim was to generate a long durée view of supra regional connectivity . When integrated with techno-typological data, our results provide us with a deep-time perspective on not only raw material choice, but also cultural-technical traditions. Preliminary results suggest an initial conservative focus on Cappadocian (Göllü Dağ) obsidian, a habit that is radically reconfigured by the 6th millennium BC with evidence for the use of a wide array of raw materials from sources in Central, Eastern and North-Eastern Anatolia. These results are then located within a broader discussion of socio-economic changes in the southern Levant during these periods.

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Long-Term Perspectives from Obsidian Sourcing in the Southern Levant. Kathryn Campeau, Tristan Carter, Yosef Garfinkel, Danny Rosenberg, Katharina Streit. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397660)


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