Provenance Study of Obsidian Artifacts from the Neolithic Settlement Masis Blur (Armenia) using Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

Author(s): Kristine Martirosyan - Olshansky

Year: 2015


Over the past two decades, provenance research on obsidian from Armenia has been on the rise, primarily for provenience purposes, however, with only few studies on obsidian archaeological artifacts. In these studies, the geochemical characterization of obsidian artifacts and geological sources was carried out using different laboratory-based techniques such as INAA, ICP-MS and XRF. The current project presents preliminary results obtained with a portable XRF (pXRF) on the chemical characterization and provenience of a selected obsidian assemblage from the aceramic Neolithic settlement of Masis Blur. This assemblage was used to assess the prevailing belief that the raw material for the majority of the artifacts was primarily coming from one of the two Arteni sources in Northwestern Armenia, this one being nearest to the settlement. The assemblage was analyzed to determine the number of geochemical groups present. Data are compared to geological samples from all known Armenian and one eastern Turkey source in an attempt to assign individual groups to specific obsidian sources. Thirteen distinct obsidian groups were identified and many of these were attributed to various sources in Armenia or eastern Turkey. The findings attest to a much wider obsidian source utilization network than previously thought for the Neolithic settlement.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Provenance Study of Obsidian Artifacts from the Neolithic Settlement Masis Blur (Armenia) using Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. Kristine Martirosyan - Olshansky. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398429)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;