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Probing Provenance: Investigating the Geographic Origins of Pottery from the Mantle Site (ca. 1525 C.E.), Ontario, using Petrographic and microprobe Analyses

Author(s): Sarah Striker ; Linda Howie

Year: 2016

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Summary

Petrographic studies of variability in the geographic origins of ancient pottery rely on discrimination of vessels based on their raw material ingredients, which can be traced to natural sources on the geological landscape. In the Great Lakes region, the glacial landscape is dominated by sediments comprising heterogeneous mixtures of eroded and transported materials, making such distinctions challenging. In this study we investigate variation in the geographic origins of pottery from the Mantle site, a late prehistoric Iroquoian village near Toronto, Ontario. Here, provenance determination is significant to site interpretations as the village developed through aggregation of diverse groups that previously lived elsewhere. To aid provenance distinctions, we have combined petrographic and microprobe analyses to generate detailed information about rock and mineral content, soil genesis and depositional environment and mineral chemistry. The microprobe analysis targeted typologically equivalent pottery differentiated as "local" (Ontario) and possibly from upper New York State based on petrographic data. Glacial sediments in each region derive from different parent rock - the Canadian Shield (Ontario) and the Appalachian Mountains (New York State). We demonstrate that despite the presence of typologically similar rock and mineral fragments, pottery from these two areas can be distinguished based on mineral chemistry.


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Probing Provenance: Investigating the Geographic Origins of Pottery from the Mantle Site (ca. 1525 C.E.), Ontario, using Petrographic and microprobe Analyses. Sarah Striker, Linda Howie. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404984)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

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