Exploring the Archaeological Applications of ITRAX XRF Soil Analysis in Southern Ontario


Prehistoric human occupation in Southern Ontario, Canada spans the gamut of ephemeral hunter-gatherer usage to intensive Iroquoian village settlements. ITRAX core scanning has the capacity to explore some of this rich history. Initially developed for environmental core analysis, ITRAX technology can highlight differences in culturally generated chemical signatures between intensive and ephemeral occupations. This automated, non destructive x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis has the potential to contribute to site prospection techniques, investigations of landscape use, and challenges to site-centric notions of archaeology. This paper presents an initial evaluation of the utility of ITRAX core scanning in archaeological applications. It compares soil cores and bulk soil samples taken from a variety of contexts in Southern Ontario including locations of palimpsest hunter-gatherer occupations and Iroquoian village sites. Comparisons with the results of phosphorous colorimeter and microdebitage analyses show the capacity for XRF analysis to corroborate and enhance other forms of intensive small-scale analysis.

Cite this Record

Exploring the Archaeological Applications of ITRAX XRF Soil Analysis in Southern Ontario. Beatrice Fletcher, Aubrey Cannon, Eduard Reinhardt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431386)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15955