Norse Exploitation of Wooden Resources in North America: Determining Wood Provenance Using Isotopic Analysis
This is an abstract from the "SANNA v2.2: Case Studies in the Social Archaeology of the North and North Atlantic" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
From historic sources we know the inhabitants of the North Atlantic islands relied on importations of timber from Northern Europe in order to supplement their resource deficit. In the case of the Greenland Settlements, we know Norse Greenlanders organized expeditions to North American shores where they acquired timber and other items. It is likely that a certain amount of wooden materials used in the Greenland Settlements came from the forested areas of Markland and Vinland. Isotopic analysis has proven useful in archaeology for sourcing materials such as bones, textiles, or metal objects. The success of isotopic studies depends on the principle that variation in environmental conditions (i.e., the proportions of elemental isotopes present in the soil, air, and water) becomes engrained in the composition of natural resources that humans either ingest or harvest for use. Previous studies have illustrated that strontium (Sr) isotopes can be used to determine the provenance of wooden materials. The potential for assigning provenance to wooden artifacts using isotopic analysis, therefore, is high and can provide us with the data necessary to differentiate among artifacts crafted in similar environments or production areas, and to establish their provenance based on modern reference samples of known origin.
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Norse Exploitation of Wooden Resources in North America: Determining Wood Provenance Using Isotopic Analysis. Elie Pinta, Sofia Pacheco-Fores, Euan P. Wallace. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452330)
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min long: -97.031; min lat: 0 ; max long: 10.723; max lat: 64.924 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23856