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Of Ostrich and Ochre: The application of pXRF to detect experimentally pigmented ostrich eggshell

Author(s): Jacob Foubert ; James McGrath

Year: 2017

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Summary

Ostrich eggshell (OES) is a somewhat common occurrence in Middle and Later Stone Age archaeological contexts. Ethnographically, OES are known to be used as containers, raw material for bead production, and the egg itself as a valuable food source. Archaeologically, it is difficult to determine which of these potential functions the OES fulfilled. The application of mineral pigment powder to OES may suggest a non-subsistence function for that particular piece. For this study we experimentally produced mineral pigment powder out of hematite and applied it to modern OES. We then proceeded to wash, cook, and otherwise remove the powder and subsequently sample the modified OES with portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF). Results from this study may suggest the utility in identifying pigmented OES within the archaeological record.


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Cite this Record

Of Ostrich and Ochre: The application of pXRF to detect experimentally pigmented ostrich eggshell. Jacob Foubert, James McGrath. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429790)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16449

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