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ITRAX XRF analysis of shell midden sediments from sites on the central coast of British Columbia

Author(s): Kari Carter ; Aubrey Cannon ; Eduard Reinhardt

Year: 2017

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We present the results of using an ITRAX XRF core scanner on fine-fraction shell midden sediments. High-resolution multi-element analyses of central coast sites confirm patterned intra- and inter-site variability in the relative abundance of phosphorus and calcium determined on the basis of earlier low-resolution studies. Analysis of Namu site deposits dating from 11,000-2000 cal BP show the relative absence of residual calcium in early shell-free deposits (ca. 11,000-7000 cal BP) but overall continuity in the relative abundance of potassium throughout the deposits. We outline preliminary interpretations of these results, and the further potential for the application of this method on the Pacific Northwest Coast and at shell midden sites globally. The precision and replicability of this technique, and its capacity to produce reliable results from very small quantities of material, support wider use of small-scale sampling of shell midden sites combined with intensive analysis of midden constituents.

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ITRAX XRF analysis of shell midden sediments from sites on the central coast of British Columbia. Kari Carter, Aubrey Cannon, Eduard Reinhardt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431389)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16916

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