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  Subjects -> ARCHAEOLOGY (Total: 207 journals)
Abstracta Iranica     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Antiqua     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Acta Archaeologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 253)
Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Archaeological Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
African Archaeological Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
AIMA Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Akroterion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Altorientalische Forschungen     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
American Antiquity     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
American Indian Culture and Research Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
American Journal of Archaeology     Partially Free   (Followers: 37)
Anatolica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Ancient Asia     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Ancient Near Eastern Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Ancient Society     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Annuaire du Collège de France     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annual of the British School at Athens     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Anthropology & Archeology of Eurasia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Antiqua     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Antiquaries Journal, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Antiquite Tardive     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Antiquity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
AntropoWebzin     Open Access  
Apeiron     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Archaeologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Archaeologiai Értesitö     Full-text available via subscription  
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Archaeological Dialogues     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 184)
Archaeological Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Archaeological Prospection     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Archaeological Reports     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Archaeologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Archaeology in Oceania     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Archaeology International     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Archaeometry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
ArcheoArte. Rivista Elettronica di Archeologia e Arte     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Archeological Papers of The American Anthropological Association     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Archeomatica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ArcheoSciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Archivo Español de Arqueología     Partially Free  
Arkeos     Open Access  
Arqueología de la Arquitectura     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
ART-SANAT     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Artefact : the journal of the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Earth Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Asian Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Australasian Historical Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Australian Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Australian Canegrower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
BABesch - Bulletin Antieke Beschaving     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Britannia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Bryn Mawr Classical Review     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
Bulletin du centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
California Archaeology     Hybrid Journal  
Cambridge Archaeological Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 233)
Catalan Historical Review     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Chinese Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Chiron     Full-text available via subscription  
Chronique des activités archéologiques de l'École française de Rome     Open Access  
Complutum     Open Access  
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Continuity and Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Deltion of the Christian Archaeological Society     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
digitAR - Revista Digital de Arqueologia, Arquitectura e Artes     Open Access  
Dissertationes Archaeologicae     Open Access  
Documents d’archéologie méridionale - Articles     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Dotawo : A Journal of Nubian Studies     Open Access  
Economic Anthropology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Environmental Archaeology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 240)
Estudios Atacameños     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Estudios de Cultura Maya     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 218)
Etruscan Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Études océan Indien     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
European Journal of Archaeology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 270)
European Journal of Law and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 220)
Evolution of Science and Technology / Mokslo ir technikos raida     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Exchange     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Frühmittelalterliche Studien     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Geoarchaeology: an International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Geochronometria     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Germanistik     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Heritage Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Hesperia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Hispania Epigraphica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Hortus Artium Medievalium     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Industrial Archaeology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology , The     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Cultural Property     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)

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Journal Cover   Journal of Archaeological Science
  [SJR: 1.311]   [H-I: 64]   [201 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0305-4403 - ISSN (Online) 1095-9238
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2588 journals]
  • Deciphering public spaces in urban contexts: geophysical survey,
           multi-element soil analysis, and artifact distributions at the
           15th–16th-century AD Swahili settlement of Songo Mnara, Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Jeffrey Fleisher , Federica Sulas
      Open spaces are an integral part of past urban settlement worldwide. Often large and devoid of visible traces of past activities, these spaces challenge mainstream archaeological approaches to develop methodologies suitable to investigate their history. This study uses geophysical survey, geochemical sampling and artifact distributions to examine open spaces at the Swahili stonetown of Songo Mnara, Tanzania. Initial, magnetic susceptibility survey revealed a set of anomalies associated with activities across the open spaces at the site; a systematic soil/sediment sampling program was applied to map artifact and geochemical distributions across these areas. These data provided a means to distinguish a ‘public space’ at the site: correlations were found between anomalies, daub, certain chemical elements (Fe, P, K, Mn) while areas without anomalies—the ‘public space’—correlated with more fragmented ceramics and other chemical elements (Ca, Na, Mg, Sr). The integrated methodological framework developed at Songo Mnara offers a new way to define areas that may have functioned as ‘public spaces’ as well as possible activities that were carried out in them. The results suggest that open spaces at this Swahili site contained defined and protected public areas where small-scale production may have occurred.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Archaeology, taphonomy, and historical ecology of Chesapeake Bay blue
           crabs (Callinectes sapidus)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Torben C. Rick , Matthew B. Ogburn , Margaret A. Kramer , Sean T. McCanty , Leslie A. Reeder-Myers , Henry M. Miller , Anson H. Hines
      Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), an important commercial and ecological species in the eastern United States, are a key part of Chesapeake Bay culture, tourism, and fisheries. Blue crab remains are rare in Middle Atlantic North American archaeological sites, however, leading to speculation that Native Americans did not eat crabs, that taphonomic processes and/or excavation strategies are not suitable to crab preservation or recovery, or that seasonal use of estuarine foods limited blue crab exploitation. We explore these hypotheses through examination of archaeological blue crab remains, analysis of allometric relationships to investigate changes in crab size, and experiments (soil pH, animal scavenging, etc.) focused on the preservation and recovery of blue crab remains. These data demonstrate that blue crab remains are fragile and that their preservation and recovery is strongly influenced by taphonomic processes, excavation strategies, and perhaps seasonal exploitation. Despite these potential biases, blue crabs have been identified in 93 Chesapeake Bay archaeological sites from at least 3200 years ago through the 20th century. Blue crabs were an important food source for Native Americans, EuroAmerican colonists, and African Americans, with size estimates demonstrating that a range of crab sizes were harvested in the past, including a higher proportion of large crabs than those found in the Bay today under the intense modern fishery. Our experimental and archaeological analyses provide an approach that can be used generally by archaeologists working in marine environments and on other species around the world.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Finding the Paleoindian spearthrower: quantitative evidence for
           mechanically-assisted propulsion of lithic armatures during the North
           American Paleoindian Period
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): W. Karl Hutchings
      Archaeologists have long assumed that fluted points were used by North American Paleoindians as spearthrower dart armatures despite a lack of empirical evidence of the spearthrower from the Paleoindian Period. Employing non-subjective, quantitative data derived from velocity-dependent micro-fracture features observed on damaged fluted and un-fluted Paleoindian lithic points, this research presents empirical evidence for the existence of the Paleoindian spearthrower. In addition, the research serves as proof-of-concept for a novel quantitative method of lithic analysis that has far-reaching potential to contribute significantly to our understanding of the human past.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • A study on the strength and thermal shock resistance of Egyptian
           shale-tempered pottery
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Ashten Warfe
      The characteristic shale-tempered pottery found in Egypt's Western Desert is often discussed for its potential strength properties and resistance to thermal shock. This paper reports on a recent experiment that tests these properties using replicate shale-tempered ceramic beams. The beams were thermally treated and flexure-tested on a three-point loading jig. The results indicate that shale in sufficient concentrations and size has an effect on vessel strength and thermal shock resistance, though the relationship is more complex than expected. Importantly, this study highlights the potential for integrating new methods of materials analysis into research on ancient Egyptian ceramics.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Characterizing prehistoric archery: technical and functional analyses of
           the Neolithic bows from La Draga (NE Iberian Peninsula)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Raquel Piqué , Antoni Palomo , Xavier Terradas , Josep Tarrús , Ramon Buxó , Àngel Bosch , Júlia Chinchilla , Igor Bodganovic , Oriol López , Maria Saña
      The discovery in 2012 of a complete yew bow (Taxus baccata) in the lakeside Neolithic site of La Draga, together with two more fragmented bows from previous field seasons, are the oldest evidence of archery among farming communities in Europe. This group of bows has allowed different aspects of prehistoric archery to be considered. Firstly with regard to the manufacturing processes of these weapons, which show great uniformity in terms of the raw material used, but some variety in shapes and sizes. Secondly about the socioeconomic significance of weapons in societies which no longer based their economy on hunting and gathering.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • A new system for computing long-bone fusion age profiles in Sus scrofa
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Melinda A. Zeder , Ximena Lemoine , Sebastian Payne
      In this paper we present the results of a study of post-cranial fusion in pigs (Sus scrofa) and propose a new system for the construction of harvest profiles of pigs based on epiphyseal fusion. The study examined post-crania of 40 Asian wild boar in museum and personal collections. It finds a regular pattern in the sequence of fusion of elements in this sample that also agrees with the fusion sequences of 56 European wild boar published in earlier studies. The fusion sequence of post-cranial elements is grouped into eleven different age classes (A–K). Comparison of the dentition based age classes assigned to 38 of the wild boar studied here and in an earlier study (Lemoine et al., 2014) shows a close correspondence between dental and fusion based age classes. Although the age at death of these specimens is not known, it is possible to assign age estimates for the fusion based age classes defined here based on the relatively secure age estimates for the dentition based age classes. A comparison of the fusion based harvest profile for a large assemblage of pig remains from the Epipaleolithic site of Hallan Çemi (southeastern Anatolia) constructed using the system proposed here with dentition based profiles using the three systems proposed in Lemoine et al. shows a very close correspondence, especially in the younger age classes. We conclude with a consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of fusion based and dentition based harvest profiles finding that when taphonomic conditions permit fusion based harvest profiles are a valuable tool for understanding ancient exploitation strategies, especially when used in tandem with dentition based profiles.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Breakage patterns in Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Nohemi Sala , Juan Luis Arsuaga , Ignacio Martínez , Ana Gracia-Téllez
      Fracture pattern analysis implement the taphonomic information obtained and it help understanding the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known, the Sima de los Huesos (SH) sample. The SH hominin long bones exhibit a fracture pattern characterized especially by the dominance of transverse fractures of the long axis, complete circumferences and fracture edges with right angles and jagged surfaces. These properties are expected for post-depositional fractures and are compatible with collective burial assemblages. The very small proportion of fractures typical of biostratinomic stage could be due to a blunt force trauma produced by a free-fall down the vertical 13 m shaft that constitutes the access to the SH chamber.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Solutrean and Magdalenian ferruginous rocks heat-treatment: accidental
           and/or deliberate action?
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Hélène Salomon , Colette Vignaud , Sophia Lahlil , Nicolas Menguy
      Heating of prehistoric coloring materials can induce radical changes in color indicative of structural matter transformation. For instance, the structure of the yellow iron oxide-rich mineral, goethite, changes into the red iron oxide-rich mineral, hematite, when it is heated to around 250–300 °C. For a long time, heating has been thought to be the reason for the high frequencies of red rocks used in camp sites and the red pigments in rock art paintings. However, records of heat-treatment of coloring materials are usually not well documented; the contextual information is not clear enough to confirm intentional heating. Two Solutrean camp sites (the flint workshop Les Maîtreaux and the hunting site Combe Saunière I) and one middle Magdalenian cave with rock art (Grotte Blanchard, La Garenne) allow us to study the heating process of ferruginous rocks. All three sites, which have been excavated relatively recently, have well-defined archaeological records and strong associations between the ferruginous rocks and other artifacts. With the use of X-ray diffraction and electron µ-diffraction for identifying structural modification and SEM-FEG and TEM-FEG for detecting dehydration nano-pores, we have strong evidence for intentional heat-treatment of yellow goethite-rich materials in two archaeological contexts and one site for unintentional heating, where rocks were only partially transformed. Intentional heating to obtain red hematite from primary goethite would have required ingenious methods of temperature control in fireplace settings and purpose-built ground ovens.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Maize consumption in pre-Hispanic south-central Andes: chemical and
           microscopic evidence from organic residues in archaeological pottery from
           western Tinogasta (Catamarca, Argentina)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): I. Lantos , J.E. Spangenberg , M.A. Giovannetti , N. Ratto , M.S. Maier
      Pre-Hispanic Andean societies depended economically on the cultivation of maize (Zea mays), the main staple food crop in the region after its introduction from highland Mexico. Here we report new data from residue analysis of potsherds recovered in archaeological sites in western Tinogasta, Catamarca province, Argentina, ca. 3rd to 16th centuries AD. Molecular and isotopic (δ 13C values) compositions of fatty acids and microscopically identified maize starch granules from organic residues absorbed in archaeological potsherds were compared with Andean ingredients and food residues obtained from experimental replica pots, where traditional recipes were cooked. Complex mixtures of lipids and starch remains observed in archaeological cooking pots indicated combinations of Andean ingredients such as llama, beans, algarroba, and maize, and suggest continuity in the domestic foodways through time. The distribution and δ 13C values of lipids preserved in vessels used for alcoholic beverage preparation, storage and transport in Inka sites suggested the possible consumption of two drinks with distinct patterns: traditional Andean maize beer (chicha) and a local fermented drink made from algarroba flour (aloja). This is potential evidence for consumption practices in festive contexts sponsored by the Inka state.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Tissue-based analysis of a charred flat bread (galette) from a Roman
           cemetery at Saint-Memmie (Dép. Marne, Champagne-Ardenne,
           north-eastern France)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Andreas G. Heiss , Nathalie Pouget , Julian Wiethold , Anne Delor-Ahü , Isabelle Le Goff
      During a rescue excavation by the Institut de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap) at the Gallo-Roman cemetery of Saint-Memmie (Champagne-Ardenne, France) in 2006, a remarkably well-preserved charred flat bread was unearthed from a pit containing a secondary deposit of burnt objects (feature 109/110), dating to a time frame between the middle of the 1st century AD and the beginning of the Flavian period (69 AD). As a part of the archaeobotanical research on the charred plant remains from the site, the bread was analyzed with the aim to reveal the cereals used in the bread's preparation and to investigate the processes involved (grinding, sieving, leavening, baking). The results indicate that the bread is composed of finely ground flour of a mixture of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and either einkorn (Triticum monococcum L.) or emmer (Triticum dicoccon Schrank.), and apparently was prepared without leavening.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Geographic scale and zooarchaeological analysis of Late Holocene foraging
           adaptations in western Argentina
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Clara Otaola , Steve Wolverton , Miguel A. Giardina , Gustavo Neme
      Previous research on intensification in hunter gatherer strategies from Central West Argentina ca. 2000 years BP states that human demographic packing and overhunting of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) may have caused resource depression of this large prey animal. As a result, people broadened their diet to include smaller prey animals. Evidence supporting this conclusion includes an increase in Shannon's Diversity Index and a decrease in the abundance of artiodactyl remains over time in southern Mendoza. However, these studies about change in diet breadth did not consider the importance of spatial scale on analysis of prey choice and diet breadth and used the entire region as a unit of analysis. This is problematic because southern Mendoza has a heterogeneous landscape. In this paper we analyze different faunal abundance indices considering different spatial scales and the representativeness of the zooarchaeological samples. The results of the analyses show distinctive patterns of resource use over time at the macro- and subregional scales. Some of the difference can be explained by environmental differences between subregions and others might relate to differences in sample representativeness between subregions.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Selective attack of waterlogged archaeological wood by the shipworm,
           Teredo navalis and its implications for in-situ preservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Anne Marie Eriksen , David Gregory , Yvonne Shashoua
      When exposed to open seawater, waterlogged wood can be subject to rapid degradation by Teredo navalis (commonly known as shipworm). However, in certain instances archaeological wood is not always attacked by shipworm. This does not appear to be related to wood species alone but more to the state of preservation of the wood. The aim of the current paper was to assess what effect the state of preservation of the wood has on attack by shipworm. To address this, sections of 6000 year-old waterlogged oak wood (Quercus sp.) that were heavily microbially degraded, were submerged at Lynæs in the southern part of Kattegat, Denmark, where shipworm are known to be prolific. Following four months exposure the wood samples were assessed visually, physically and chemically. Visually it was immediately apparent that only the heartwood was attacked by shipworm, whilst the surrounding sapwood was left intact. There was a significant difference in the state of preservation (density) of the sapwood (153 kg/m3) when compared with the heartwood (370 kg/m3). Further characterisation of the sapwood and heartwood by wet chemical methods and Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy showed that the amount of cellulose in the non-attacked sapwood was very low when compared to the attacked heartwood. This suggests that a certain amount of cellulose is needed before there is enough nutrition for the shipworm to attack. These initial results indicate that the state of preservation of timbers has an effect on the attack of wood by shipworm and therefore should be taken into consideration when planning any in-situ preservation/stabilisation of timbers.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55




      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Production, mixing and provenance of Late Bronze Age mixed alkali glasses
           from northern Italy: an isotopic approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 55
      Author(s): Julian Henderson , Jane Evans , Paolo Bellintani , Anna-Maria Bietti-Sestieri
      Late Bronze Age glass in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece was made from silica and plant ashes. Around 1200 BC in Europe a new glass type appears of a mixed alkali composition. Although the highest concentration of this glass is found at Frattesina in the Veneto, northern Italy there is no absolute proof that it was fused there from raw materials. A variety of possible alkali raw materials have been suggested but there is still no certainty about its identity. The chemical compositions of these mixed alkali glasses are characterised by a series of mixing lines which suggest that raw materials or glasses were mixed. To address these issues we present here the first set of radiogenic isotope (87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd) results for highly coloured samples of 11th century BC raw and waste glass from Frattesina together with new isotopic results for northern Italian silica and plant samples. Although a relatively small number, the isotopic results suggest that primary production of mixed alkali glass occurred in northern Italy. Moreover, it can be suggested that two of the samples were made from a mixture of different glasses, with contrasting isotopic signatures, one probably deriving from northern Italy and the other from a non-local source. This indicates that there were two production centres for mixed-alkali glass. We have shown that Frattesina glasses were made using isotopically distinct raw materials from those used to make the slightly earlier Late Bronze Age Mesopotamian and Egyptian plant ash glasses. Even though we have tested a small number of samples the isotopic results nevertheless provide significant new evidence for these mixed-alkali glasses being the first European glasses.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • “The Red Lady of El Mirón”. Lower Magdalenian life and
           death in Oldest Dryas Cantabrian Spain: an overview
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Lawrence G. Straus , Manuel R. González Morales , Jose Miguel Carretero , Ana Belen Marín-Arroyo
      This synthesis article summarizes the multidisciplinary evidence and interpretations of the first substantial human burial of Magdalenian age to be discovered on the Iberian Peninsula. A robust, relatively tall, apparently healthy, probably female adult was buried at the rear of the living area in El Mirón Cave in the Cantabrian Cordillera of Spain about 18,700 calendar years ago. She had lived in the cold, open environment of Oldest Dryas, with a subsistence based on hunting mainly ibex and red deer, fishing salmon and some gathering of plants, including some starchy seeds and mushrooms. The technology of her group included the manufacture and use of stone tools and weapon elements made on both excellent-quality non-local flint and local non-flints, as well as antler projectile tips and bone needles. Her burial may have been marked by rock engravings suggestive of a female personage, by red ochre staining of a large block adjacent to her skeleton, and by engravings on the adjacent cave wall, and the burial layer itself was intensely stained with red ochre rich in specular hematite specially obtained from an apparently non-local source. The ochre may constitute the only demonstrable “grave offering”. The grave was partially disturbed by a carnivore of wolf size after the corpse had decomposed. Then, it is hypothesized that the skeleton was covered over again and (re-) stained by humans after they (or the carnivore) had removed the cranium and most of the large long bones.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Anatomical and chemical analyses on wooden artifacts from a Samnite
           sanctuary in Hirpinia (Southern Italy)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Manuela Capano , Olivia Pignatelli , Chiara Capretti , Simona Lazzeri , Benedetto Pizzo , Fabio Marzaioli , Nicoletta Martinelli , Ida Gennarelli , Stefania Gigli , Filippo Terrasi , Nicola Macchioni
      Objects of this study are the wooden artifacts discovered in the archaeological excavation of Mephitis goddess sanctuary in the Ansanto Valley (Rocca San Felice – AV, Southern Italy). At the moment of discovery, in the mid of last century, woods were waterlogged and mineralized, and they were restored to allow their preservation. Purpose of this work was the wood identification, in order to gain information on some technological aspects, and the analysis of wood preservation state. Wood species were identified by means of magnifiers or optical and scanning electron microscopes, while the state of preservation was studied through microscopy and chemical analyses (FTIR-ATR, ash content and pH measurement). Four different taxa have been identified with certainty among all the findings: Quercus sp., Fagus sylvatica L., Rosaceae, Populus/Salix. It was not possible to identify the wood of all the findings, because some sampled fragments were too small or because of the deformation of wood tissues. The state of preservation showed a great variability over the analyzed findings. A general damage degree was observed, sometimes also macroscopically visible. The polarized light microscope and FTIR-ATR spectroscopy demonstrated the absence of cellulose in the analyzed samples. The wood cell wall was not detectable by means of SEM because it is completely covered by restoration material. Because of the lack of visibility, it was impossible to identify the type of biological damage occurred to the wood.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Stable isotope and ancient DNA analysis of dog remains from Cathlapotle
           (45CL1), a contact-era site on the Lower Columbia River
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Kenneth M. Ames , Michael P. Richards , Camilla F. Speller , Dongya Y. Yang , R. Lee Lyman , Virginia L. Butler
      This study reports ancient DNA (aDNA) and stable isotope analyses of eight dog skeletal elements from the Cathlapotle site on the Lower Columbia River of the western United States. The aDNA analysis confirmed the elements as dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Two haplotypes were found, both of which group within dog Clade A, and have patchy distributions to the north in British Columbia and as far south as Teotihuacan (Mexico). The isotopic analysis showed that the dogs’ dietary protein was derived almost exclusively from marine sources. Lower Columbia River ethnohistoric accounts and Cathlapotle zooarchaeological records indicate that while marine fish were dietary keystones, the local diet was more diverse, and included terrestrial organisms and freshwater fishes. This apparent discrepancy raises the possibility the dogs were selectively fed. Thus their diet may not be a close proxy for human diet in this context.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Technical Considerations and Methodology for Creating High-resolution,
           Color-Corrected, and Georectified Photomosaics of Stratigraphic Sections
           at Archaeological Sites
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Erich C. Fisher , Derya Akkaynak , Jacob Harris , Andy I.R. Herries , Zenobia Jacobs , Panagiotis Karkanas , Curtis W. Marean , James McGrath
      Using a conventional, off-the-shelf digital single lens reflex camera and flashes, we were able to create high-resolution panoramas of stratigraphic profiles ranging from a single meter to over 5 meters in both height and width at the Middle Stone Age site of PP5-6 at Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, South Africa. The final photomosaics are isoluminant, rectilinear, and have a pixel spatial resolution of 1 mm. Furthermore, we systematically color-corrected the raw imagery. This process standardized the colors seen across the photomosaics while also creating reproducible and meaningful colors for relative colorimetric analysis between photomosiacs. Here, we provide a detailed discussion about the creation and application of our photomosaics. In the first part of the paper, we examine the specific characteristics of modern digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and lenses that were important to us in developing our methodology. We also provide a detailed discussion about how to reproduce the methodology in the field and to post-process the imagery. In the final section of the paper, we give several examples to show how we apply our photomosaics within an empirical 3D GIS database. These examples are provided to show how photographic data can be integrated with other digitally-captured data and used to study the relationships between the stratigraphic features seen in the photomosaics and the 3D distribution of excavated archaeological piece-plots, geochronological samples, and other kinds of geological samples.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Spatial Distribution Analysis of the Lower Magdalenian Human Burial in El
           Mirón Cave (Cantabria, Spain)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Jeanne Marie Geiling , Ana B. Marín-Arroyo
      By using Geographical Information System software this study presents the spatial distribution of the human remains and features within the burial found in a Lower Magdalenian level of El Mirón cave (Cantabria, Spain). The aim is to identify how the interment was created and discern its primary or secondary origin. Three-dimensional analyses have been applied to recognize the physical location of the burial and its structural elements in relation with the grave assemblage and the significance of the red ochre and specular hematite in the burial context. In addition, a comparison of the vertical and horizontal dispersal of human skeletal elements was carried out according to their representation and evidence of taphonomic modifications. The association of human bones with other archaeological finds was also taken into account. The results show that the human body was placed at the edge of the living area of the site, at the rear of the cave vestibule, but in a separate place behind an engraved block and covered with limestone rocks. The position of the anatomical elements and the spatial distribution of the taphonomic bone modifications prove that it was a primary burial, minimally disturbed by carnivores, after body decomposition. The absence of the cranium and most of the long bones seems to be the result of a deliberate anthropogenic extraction from the burial pit, possibly for redeposition at another, unknown location perhaps a secondary burial. This fact disturbed the initial primary body deposition. Therefore, the results show that the El Mirón Lower Magdalenian burial was a disturbed primary interment, rather than a secondary deposit.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Did Romanization impact Gallic pig morphology? NEW insights from molar
           geometric morphometrics
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Colin Duval , Sébastien Lepetz , Marie-Pierre Horard-Herbin , Thomas Cucchi
      In Western Europe, at the turn of our era, the emergence of the Roman economic and agropastoral model is considered as the trigger for morphological changes experienced by livestock. This assumption is now undermined, reviving questions of the origin and mechanism of these changes as well as the influence of Gaul's agricultural particularities in the process. To investigate this question we used a geometric morphometric approach to study the phenotypic relationships of almost 600 dental remains of pigs (Sus scrofa) from 11 Gallic and Italian sites, and pinpoint evidence of Roman or indigenous signature on the livestock. The comparison of these different samples allowed us to demonstrate that the link between the Roman and Gallic pigs is weak, and, more importantly, that each of the two territories, from its own animals, followed its own livestock management model. Furthermore, it seems that within Gaul, each region or settlement adopted their own particular pastoral or supplying strategies; apart from two urban sites of central Gaul which showed clear phenotypic relationships with southern populations. These results suggest that the pigs' morphology depended mainly on agricultural and economic characteristics of the different territories, within Gaul and Italy, except perhaps on some urban sites with different supply strategies. It seems, therefore, that the changing economic environment impacted both provinces independently, or at least differently, since it cannot be excluded that there may have been some commercial relationships between them.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Organic Inclusions in Middle and Late Iron Age (5th - 12th century)
           Hand-Built Pottery in Present-Day Latvia
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Baiba Dumpe , Normunds Stivrins
      The fabric of Iron Age pottery from Latvia has generally been analysed as a body consisting of clay and mineral inclusions. Sometimes, organic inclusions are also found in pottery, either naturally occurring or artificially incorporated. This study discusses Iron Age pottery fabric, specifically focusing on organic inclusions, which have previously not been adequately investigated in Latvia. We experimentally tested firing temperatures to establish the temperature limit for preservation of organic matter in pottery and tested a variety of organic materials in different proportions for the purpose of comparison with archaeological pottery, in order to ascertain the possible content of the fabric used in the hand-built pottery of the Middle and Late Iron Age (5th–12th centuries) in present-day Latvia. Pollen and non-pollen palynomorph analysis was applied with the aim of assessing the possible origin and composition of the organic matter in the archaeological pottery fabrics. The results of this study demonstrate that the dark colouration produced by organic matter in the core of the experimental ceramic fabric is preserved up to a temperature 700 °C. Pottery firing experiments show that chaff and flax shives left medium-to coarse-grained inclusions in the structure, resembling the archaeological pottery. On the other hand, experimental samples with seeds did not correspond exactly to any of the known ancient wares. The presence of spores of coprophilous fungi Sporormiella and Apiosordaria suggests that the fabric of a small number of Iron Age pottery samples analyzed in the present study could possibly contain animal dung.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • High-Resolution Documentation, 3-D Modeling and Analysis of "Desert Kites"
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Reuma Arav , Sagi Filin , Uzi Avner , Guy Bar-Oz , Amnon Nachmias , Dan Malkinson , Dani Nadel
      Using terrestrial laser scanning technology we create high-resolution 3-D models of wild ungulates’ archeological large-game drives (desert kites) and demonstrate how the collected data can be utilized to conduct spatial and architectural analyses. Visual reconstructions show in great detail how kites were constructed according to geographic and topographic settings and how they were set to maximize prey capture. The models are used to simulate how a kite was operated and especially how it appeared from the hunted animal's perspective. The models also serve as a useful tool for detecting macro and micro construction details, and as a platform for an array of intra- and inter-kite comparisons in different geographic landscapes. Finally, they provide the basis for future documentation of archaeological structures in arid environments.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • A geochemical study on the bitumen from Dosariyah (Saudi-Arabia): tracking
           Neolithic-period bitumen in the Persian Gulf
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Thomas Van de Velde , Mike De Vrieze , Pieter Surmont , Samuel Bodé , Philipp Drechsler
      This paper presents the results of a series of geochemical analysis conducted on 20 bitumen samples from the Neolithic site of Dosariyah (Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia). The aim of this study was to establish the geological origin of this bitumen in order to identify the bitumen seepage they were extracted from. The majority of the samples could be successfully related to bitumen seepages of northern Iraq. Two samples didn’t match the bulk of the samples and probably came from the Burgan Hill seepage (Kuwait). Three samples were too badly degraded in order to deliver reliable data, and were removed from the dataset. These conclusions stand in contrast with H3/as-Sabiyah, —a site culturally and geographically linked with Dosariyah— which bitumen came exclusively from the Burgan Hill. In this paper we argue that this difference may be explained by the difference in dating between the two sites, as H3/as-Sabiyah slightly predates Dosariyah.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Experimental archaeology in a mid-latitude periglacial context: insight
           into site formation and taphonomic processes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Pascal Bertran , Cédric Beauval , Stéphane Boulogne , Michel Brenet , Sandrine Costamagno , Thierry Feuillet , Véronique Laroulandie , Arnaud Lenoble , Philippe Malaurent , Jean-Baptiste Mallye
      Experiments have been carried out at two sites in periglacial (MAAT ≈ 0°C) and alpine (MAAT ≈ 4°C) contexts in the Pyrenees, including open-air and cave loci, to document in detail the role of site formation processes and taphonomic agents in the degradation of archaeological assemblages. In both sites, the experimental cells have undergone significant changes over the five years of measurements. These are marked by slow downslope creep of lithic artefacts due to solifluction, rain creep, and the impact of debris fallen from the wall in the cave. The behaviour of bone material was significantly different from that of lithics, due to the activity of scavengers. This was responsible for scattering a high proportion of bone remains, and displacements were typically significant. Such activity was also responsible for a high number of bone elements being lost (1/3 to 2/3 of the bones). Weathering, mostly cracking and exfoliation, also affected dry bone material in the open-air cells. The measurements have highlighted the specific nature of the cave context, which plays a protective role for bone remains against meteoric agents. The talus at the entrance of the cavity was also characterized by a strong spatial heterogeneity in sedimentary processes, which may generate a differential preservation of the assemblages.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • New objects in old structures. The Iron Age Hoard of the Palacio III
           Megalithic Funerary Complex (Almadén de la Plata, Seville, Spain)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Mercedes Murillo-Barroso , Marcos Martinón-Torres , Leonardo García Sanjuán , David Wheatley , Mark A. Hunt Ortiz , Matilde Forteza González , María Jesús Hernández Arnedo
      Cultural contact, exchange and interaction feature high in the list of challenging topics of current research on European Prehistory. Not far off is the issue of the changing role of monuments in the making and maintaining of key cultural devices such as memory and identity. Addressing both these highly-debated issues from a science-based perspective, in this paper we look at an unusual case study set in southern Iberia and illustrate how these archaeological questions can benefit from robust materials-science approaches. We present the contextual, morphological and analytical study of an exceptional Early Iron Age hoard composed of a number of different (and mostly exotic) materials such as amber, quartz, silver and ceramic. This hoard, found under the fallen orthostat of a megalithic structure built at least 2000 years earlier, throws new light on long-distance exchange networks and the effect they could have had on the cultural identities and social relations of local Iberian Early Iron Age communities. Moreover, the archaeometric study reveals how diverse and distant the sources of these item are (Northern Europe to Eastern and Western Mediterranean raw materials, as well as local and eastern technologies), therefore raising questions concerning the social mechanisms used to establish change and resistance in contexts of colonial encounter.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Revisiting Kokkinopilos: Middle Pleistocene radiometric dates for
           stratified archaeological remains in Greece
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): V. Tourloukis , P. Karkanas , J. Wallinga
      The red-bed site of Kokkinopilos is an emblematic and yet also most enigmatic open-air Palaeolithic site in Greece, stimulating controversy ever since its discovery in 1962. While early research raised claims for stratigraphically in situ artifacts, later scholars considered the material reworked and of low archaeological value, a theory that was soon to be challenged again by the discovery of in situ lithics, including handaxes. Here we present results of a latest and long-term research that includes geoarchaeological assessments, geomorphological mapping and luminescence dating. We show that the site preserves an overall undisturbed sedimentary sequence related to an ephemeral lake, marked by palaeosols and stratigraphic units with Palaeolithic material that is geologically in situ and hence datable. Our study resolves the issues that have been the source of controversy: the depositional environment, stratigraphic integrity, chronological placement and archaeological potential of the site. Moreover, the minimum ages obtained through luminescence dating demonstrate that the lithic component with bifacial specimens considerably pre-dates the last interglacial and therefore comprises the earliest stratigraphically defined and radiometrically-assessed archaeological material in Greece. Kokkinopilos has served as a reference site for the interpretation of all other red-bed sites in north-west Greece, therefore our results have significantly wider implications: by analogy to Kokkinopilos, the open-air sites of Epirus should not anymore be considered ‘by default’ as inscrutable palimpsests with limited archaeological potential; rather, these sites can be excavated and chronologically constrained. This realization opens up new prospects for future research in Epirus, an area that is the most prolific in Palaeolithic remains in Greece.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • What starch grain is that? - A geometric morphometric approach to
           determining plant species origin
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Adelle C.F. Coster , Judith H. Field
      Many economically important plants produce starch grains that, if distinctive in form, can be used as identifiers for particular taxa. The identification of starch to species or genera has become increasingly important in studies exploring plant use in ancient societies and also in the verification of plant origin for some plant-based medicines. However, identification of starch can be problematic, because of the considerable variability in the morphology of starch grains. As a result there has always been an element of subjective judgement when it comes to identifying a sample of grains. Here we present a novel system for identifying the plant species origin of unknown starch grains using image analysis of light micrographs. After manually obtaining a mask of the two-dimensional maximum-projection-area grain shape, features for each starch grain were determined automatically including the size metrics, circularity and Fourier transform signature. The starch grain features analysed were used to create classifiers for the grains. The relative performance of the different classifiers was evaluated, based on different combinations of the predictor variables (e.g. area, perimeter etc.), and the optimal classifier determined. The method was applied to a database of 1032 grains representing 8 geographically co-located known economic plant species. A classification tree using shape metrics and the Fourier signature produced the best separations. The morphological features were sufficient to obtain a high level of accuracy in attributing individual starch grains to plant species. The method enables the creation of effective classifiers to undertake a quantitative evaluation of starch grain morphologies, thereby reducing the need for subjective qualitative determinations. The system provides a robust framework in which plant microfossils of unknown species origin can be compared with reference grains for effecting identifications. The method is potentially useful not just for starch, but other microfossils of morphometric interest.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Fingerprints, sex, state, and the organization of the Tell Leilan ceramic
           industry
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Akiva Sanders
      The goal of this research is to elucidate the organization of ceramic production at Tell Leilan, Northeast Syria with respect to gender roles from 3400 to 1700 BCE through a study of fingerprint impressions on pottery. Using the distribution of epidermal ridge densities, a technique has been developed and tested to determine the proportion of men and women who formed and finished vessels in a ceramic assemblage. Analysis of 106 fingerprints preserved on sherds indicates that there is a discrete change in the sex ratio of potters at Leilan coincident with the rise of urbanism and state formation in northern Mesopotamia. No change in this pattern, however, are yet correlated with other political shifts, such as changes in the various regimes that had hegemony over the site during the Early and Middle Bronze Age. These results provide new information about the effect of state authority on the public and private organization of crafts as well as the division of society along gender lines. Surprisingly, this transformation in gender roles, which coincides with the rise of the state at Tell Leilan, is not visible at village sites in the Tell Leilan Regional Survey. This indicates that the changes in social fabric that occurred at urban sites with the establishment of state institutions did not occur to the same extent in smaller settlements even though the state did control some of the ceramic production at these sites, at least during the Akkadian period. This methodology and research has implications beyond northern Mesopotamia and provides an innovative technique to empirically test the highly theoretical literature on the relationship of gender to craft production in the archaeological record.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Steatite-tempered pottery of the Stroke Ornamented Ware culture from
           Silesia (SW Poland): a Neolithic innovation in ceramic technology
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Michał P. Borowski , Mirosław Furmanek , Krzysztof Czarniak , Piotr Gunia
      This paper presents the results of petrographic and electron microprobe study of the steatite-tempered pottery of the Stroke Ornamented Ware culture from Silesia (SW Poland). The examination was performed with an emphasis on techno-functional aspects of ceramic production, nevertheless some preliminary data concerning provenance and distribution of the temper are also briefly discussed. Typological variability of investigated potsherds corresponds with distinguished fabric groups of steatite-tempered pottery. Fabric group A, linked to kettle-shaped vessels and thick-walled bowls, contains abundant admixture of microscopically observable steatite fragments (24–48 vol.%) and significant amounts of pulverized steatite in the clay groundmass. It may be supposed that the crushed talcose rock was added as a key-component in order to improve thermal properties of ceramic bodies. On the other hand, fabric group B, to which pear-shaped vessels and fine bowls belong, is characterized by minor quantities of steatite inclusions (usually less than 10 vol.%) accompanied by a variety of other non-plastics. Regardless of the widespread distribution of steatite-tempered pottery in Silesia, petrographic features of the steatite (talc-chlorite schist containing relics of antigorite) are very uniform at each of the investigated sites, indicating a specific source of raw material, most likely related to one of the Lower Silesian serpentinite massifs. The multigenerational persistence of this technological innovation sheds some new light on long-debated questions of cultural continuity at the regional level in the first half of the 5th millennium BC. The presented findings, viewed from a broader perspective, do not correspond with commonly held assumption considering the Neolithic pottery as produced from widely available raw materials and intended for own use.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Middle and Later Stone Age shellfish exploitation strategies and coastal
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): K. Kyriacou , J.E. Parkington , M. Will , A.W. Kandel , N.J. Conard
      Hoedjiespunt 1 has long been recognized as one of the earliest Middle Stone Age (MSA) shell-bearing sites on the southwestern Cape coast. Together with the closely adjacent and roughly contemporary site at Sea Harvest, and the extensively documented site of Ysterfontein, Hoedjiespunt provides a record of MSA people's adaptations to coastal environments and systematic exploitation of marine resources at a crucial time in human evolution. The site was re-opened for excavation in 2011, and the combined shellfish assemblage from the original 1994–1996 excavations and the more recent field season was analysed. This augmented assemblage displays a number of commonalities with those from other MSA sites along the Atlantic west coast. The abundance of granite limpets (Cymbula granatina) and black mussels (Choromytilus meridionalis), and large size of limpets recovered from Hoedjiespunt is consistent with the small-scale and selective exploitation of a limited range of accessible species during short, episodic visits to the coast by highly mobile hunter–gatherers. The nature of the stone artefact assemblages that are associated with the shellfish remains, characterized by low lithic densities, expedient use of predominantly local raw materials, little retouch on-site but import of non-local silcrete tools, supports this interpretation. As a regional comparison, the shellfish assemblages from three Later Stone Age (LSA) middens at Lynch Point in Saldanha Bay were also analysed. The diversity of the shellfish remains from Lynch Point, in combination with much smaller limpet sizes, are indicative of broader and more flexible coastal foraging strategies and more intensive shellfish collection during the LSA in this region.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Tree-rings, forest history and cultural heritage: current state and future
           prospects of dendroarchaeology in the Iberian Peninsula
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): M. Domínguez-Delmás , R. Alejano-Monge , S. Van Daalen , E. Rodríguez-Trobajo , I. García-González , J. Susperregi , T. Wazny , E. Jansma
      We review the current state of dendroarchaeology in the Iberian Peninsula and discuss its potential, outlining the particular relevance and complexity of this territory and its material heritage for dendroarchaeological studies. Whereas dendrochronology is used throughout the rest of Europe to answer questions about cultural heritage, the application of dendroarchaeology in the Iberian Peninsula has been remarkably underrepresented in comparison to dendroecology and dendroclimatology. Existing tree-ring chronologies in this territory have a widespread geographical coverage, but are often too short to allow dendroarchaeological studies, resulting in inadequate assessments of material heritage made of wood in and originating from the Iberian Peninsula. However, different studies have demonstrated that dendroarchaeology has a great potential in the area. This review illustrates the rich variety of Iberian material heritage from different periods and cultures covering over 8000 years that could profit from dendrochronological research. Future research possibilities in relation to the available Iberian heritage in Spain, Portugal and worldwide are proposed.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • A refined protocol for calculating MNI in archaeological molluscan shell
           assemblages: a Marshall Islands case study
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Matthew Harris , Marshall Weisler , Patrick Faulkner
      Comprehensive and transparent protocols for calculating Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) for archaeological faunal assemblages are critical to data quality, comparability, and replicability. MNI values for archaeological molluscan assemblages are routinely calculated by counting a select range of Non-Repetitive Elements (NREs). Most commonly, only the frequency of the spire of gastropods and the umbo or hinge of bivalves are recorded. Calculating MNI based only on the frequency of these NREs can underestimate the relative abundance of particular molluscan shell forms. Using archaeological mollusc assemblages from two sites in the Marshall Islands as a case study, we outline a new protocol (tMNI) that incorporates a wider range of NRE and calculates MNI based on the most frequently occurring NRE for each taxon. The principles that underlie the tMNI method can be modified to be regionally or assemblage specific, rather than being a universally applicable range of NRE for the calculation of MNI. For the Marshall Islands assemblages, the inclusion of additional NRE in quantification measures led to (1) a 167% increase in relative abundance of gastropods and 3% increase in bivalves (2) changes to rank order abundance, and (3) alterations to measures of taxonomic richness and evenness. Given these results for the Marshall Islands assemblages, tMNI provides more accurate taxonomic abundance measures for these and other archaeological molluscan assemblages with similar taxa. These results have implications for the quality of zooarchaeological data increasingly utilised by conservation biologists, historical ecologists and policy makers.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Modeling the paleoclimate (ca. 6000–3200 cal BP) in
           eastern Anatolia: the method of Macrophysical Climate Model and
           comparisons with proxy data
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Bülent Arıkan
      Both paleoenvironmental and archaeological data provide mounting evidence of increasing aridification in the Near East starting with the late Early Bronze Age (ca. 4300 BP). Combining the methods of the Macrophysical Climate Model (MCM) and GIS, it is possible to obtain quantifiable values across landscapes at 100-year resolution. This research focuses on the methods of MCM, a synoptic paleoclimate model that applies statistical downscaling and compares the results with proxy data. The discussion addresses the divergent trends in precipitation and temperature in eastern Anatolia between 6000 and 3200 BP. The general climatic trends emerging from this research are then compared with those illustrated in various proxy data to verify the accuracy of the retrodictions for precipitation and temperature variables of the MCM. Results of this research are important as they may be integrated with the agent-based land use and landscape evolution models. These new approaches have great potential to demonstrate how multifaceted, long-term dynamic human–environment relationships can be defined and readapted according to the changing levels of social organization, which start a new cycle of social and economic responses with each ecological change.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Rhyolite characterization and distribution in central Alaska
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Sam Coffman , Jeffrey T. Rasic
      Fine grained volcanic rocks are common in lithic assemblages of interior Alaska and are amenable to geochemical characterization using a variety of analytical techniques. Our study focuses on rhyolite with the intent of identifying and delineating geochemical groups that may correlate to specific geological source areas. PXRF technology was used to analyze 676 rhyolite artifacts from 123 sites in interior Alaska. Our preliminary results recognize ten distinct geochemical groups that appear to correlate with distinct geological sources. While geological origins of eight of the ten groups identified remain unknown, two geological sources have been pinpointed, one (represented by Group H) is located in the central Alaska Range and the second (Group G) is in the Talkeetna Mountains. The provisional framework of geochemical variation among tool quality rhyolite sources in this region is an important first step toward a more robust understanding of prehistoric landuse in interior Alaska.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Artificial patination in Early Iron Age Europe: an analytical case study
           of a unique bronze artefact
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Daniel Berger
      Direct evidence for the intentional patination of metal objects is difficult to ascertain and therefore studies concerning this technique are controversial. Only a couple of objects with artificially patinated surfaces have been positively identified, ranging in date from the early 2nd millennium BC to Roman and medieval times. In this paper a skillfully crafted and coloured Early Iron Age bronze axe belonging to the Villanova culture of ancient Italy was selected for examination. Optical microscopy and multiple mineralogical analyses of the surface of this object demonstrate that it was patinated deliberately by a thermal treatment technology (thermal patination). So far, this Iron Age axe is the oldest European object where this technology had been applied.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Dating surface assemblages using pottery and eggshell: assessing
           radiocarbon and luminescence techniques in Northeast Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Lisa Janz , James K. Feathers , George S. Burr
      The vast majority of known archaeological sites in arid Northeast Asia are surface assemblages containing few or no organic remains. The lack of stratified sites and a relative absence of organic remains in surface assemblages hinders our ability to date sites, create local chronologies, and contextualize technological and socio-economic change. Such problems are common in arid regions around the world. New radiocarbon and luminescence dates on collections from the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China are used here to assess the potential for direct dating of commonly occurring artefacts like ostrich eggshell and pottery. Direct dating also allows for the identification and sorting of mixed-age assemblages. Here, we compare dates derived from Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) on ostrich eggshell, AMS on pottery, and luminescence on pottery. Our findings show that AMS and luminescence are highly complementary methods and produce results consistent with expected archaeological ages, while ostrich eggshell dates were older than the associated site assemblages.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Using new morphological criteria to identify domesticated emmer wheat at
           the aceramic Neolithic site of Chogha Golan (Iran)
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Alexander Weide , Simone Riehl , Mohsen Zeidi , Nicholas J. Conard
      Reconstructing the domestication process of cereals is a basic requirement for the understanding of the Early Neolithic in the Near East and how agriculture emerged. Although there is general agreement on the criteria of differentiating wild from domesticated cereals, their application to material from aceramic Neolithic sites is problematic for reasons of preservation and diversity of early transitional chaff remains. In the present study we established an identification key for the distinction of wild and domestic emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccoides/dicoccum). General morphological analyses as well as experimental charring and measurements on wild and domestic emmer from the Fertile Crescent were conducted to track the main features that distinguish the two forms. Wild emmer can be differentiated from domestic emmer using longitudinal sections through rachises. The scar morphology of wild emmer specimens with a rough upper abscission scar is distinct from domestic emmer. In addition, two of the measuring tracks distinguish between domestic emmer and its progenitor. These results were applied to archaeological specimens from the aceramic Neolithic site of Chogha Golan (Ilam Province, Iran), which was excavated in 2009 and 2010 by a team of the Tübingen Iranian Stone Age Research Project. The carbonized emmer remains dating to about 9800BP comprise domestic-type and wild-type rachises, which is typical for cereal assemblages from aceramic Neolithic deposits.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Sclerochronology of Busycon sinistrum: late prehistoric seasonality
           determination at St. Joseph Bay, Florida, USA
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Ryan M. Harke , Gregory S. Herbert , Nancy Marie White , Jennifer Sliko
      Recent archaeological investigations indicate that coastal Fort Walton cultures in the St. Joseph Bay region of northwest Florida emphasized marine and estuarine foraging. These late prehistoric, Mississippi-period (A.D. 1000–1500) peoples collected fish, shellfish, and other aquatic resources. At the Richardson's Hammock site (8Gu10), radiocarbon-dated to about A.D. 1300, large, predatory gastropods were a major subsistence component. This adaptation is in sharp contrast with that of contemporaneous inland Fort Walton societies, who relied on maize agriculture, and raises the question whether coastal groups were separate hunter–gatherer–fisher populations or migrated seasonally from inland farming villages. We perform stable oxygen and carbon isotope sclerochronology on lightning whelks (Busycon sinistrum) to determine the seasonality of Fort Walton foraging and to compare the environment of prehistoric St. Joseph Bay with that of the modern bay. Oxygen isotope profiles suggest that shellfish collecting was relegated primarily to the summer months, producing a scheduling conflict with the primary growing season for maize in northwest Florida. Thus, coastal and inland Fort Walton sites probably represent separate culture groups. The relationship between δ18Oshell and δ13Cshell indicates similar environmental and climatic conditions between prehistoric St. Joseph Bay and today. However, modern whelks are depleted in 13C compared to Fort Walton whelks, which reflects both twentieth century CO2 emissions and years of dredging and wastewater pollution entering the bay.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • On the effect of organic carbon on rehydroxylation (RHX) dating
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): M. Numrich , W. Kutschera , P. Steier , J.H. Sterba , R. Golser
      Scientific dating is an invaluable tool to understand the development of human civilizations from prehistoric to historic times. Ceramics is the most abundant material recovered from archaeological excavations, but a satisfactory scientific dating method is still lacking. So called rehydroxylation (RHX) dating promises precise age information, but the validity of the method still has to be proven. We have investigated one possible obstacle imposed by the presence of organic carbon in the samples. Such a contamination can lead to significant deviations of the dating result. The amount of CO2 released from the following samples was determined: A medieval clay brick from Alkoven, Austria; two authentic archaeological samples from the Iron Age from Megiddo, Israel; a 1600 AD earthenware sherd from Enkhuizen, Netherlands, which had been successfully dated with RHX at another laboratory. We investigated several possibilities to remove such contamination.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Revisiting the beginnings of tin-opacified Islamic glazes
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Michael Tite , Oliver Watson , Trinitat Pradell , Moujan Matin , Gloria Molina , Kelly Domoney , Anne Bouquillon
      The generally accepted theory is that the demand for Islamic glazed pottery started in Abbasid Iraq in the 9th century AD with the production of a range of glazed wares in response to the import of Chinese stonewares and porcelains. However, Oliver Watson has recently proposed that the demand for Islamic glazed pottery first occurred in Egypt and Syria in the 8th century AD resulting in the production of opaque yellow decorated wares. Using a combination of SEM analysis of polished cross-sections, and surface analysis using hand-held XRF or PIXE, Coptic Glazed Ware from Egypt, Yellow Glazed Ware from Syria, and comparable wares from Samarra, Kish and Susa have been analysed. The analyses show that the opaque yellow decoration was the result of lead stannate particles in a high lead glaze, which it is suggested was produced using a lead-silica-tin mixture. The use of lead stannate in the production of yellow opaque glazes is explained in terms of technological transfer from contemporary Islamic glassmakers who continued the Byzantine tradition of glassmaking. It is further argued that the introduction of opaque yellow glazed pottery into Mesopotamia could have provided the social context for the sudden emergence of tin-opacified white glazed pottery in Abbasid Iraq in the 9th century AD. However, in view of the very different glaze compositions employed for the yellow and white opaque glazes, it seems probable that the white tin-opacified glazes used for Abbasid cobalt blue and lustre decorated wares represent a separate but parallel technological tradition with its origins in the production of Islamic opaque white glass.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis at Neolithic
           Çatalhöyük: evidence for human and animal diet and their
           relationship to households
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Jessica A. Pearson , Amy Bogaard , Mike Charles , Simon W. Hillson , Clark Spencer Larsen , Nerissa Russell , Katheryn Twiss
      The long-term excavations at Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic site in central Turkey, have uncovered over 100 houses, which have been associated with at least 400 human skeletons and one million recorded animal bones. This large assemblage has enabled an extensive programme of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, which was designed to explore animal hunting and herding practices and how human diet varied according to age, sex, burial practice, location and over time. The isotope values for sheep and cattle show how both were herded in a range of locations which consisted of pure C3 and also mixed C3/C4 plant locations. We sampled animals from middens adjacent to the buildings where people were buried to provide house-by-house diet reconstruction. However, very few of the people buried in the houses demonstrate a clear dietary relationship to these associated middens. Similarly, people buried in the same house seem to have had different diets to one another. We argue that these data suggest diet at Neolithic Çatalhöyük was a carefully structured, long-lived and repetitious process and that houses may not have functioned as the simple domestic units that they are often assumed to be.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Bismuth behaviour during ancient processes of silver–lead production
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Maxime L'Héritier , Sandrine Baron , Laurent Cassayre , Florian Téreygeol
      Bismuth is one of the main trace elements found in archaeological lead and silver material in very variable contents. As silver refining by cupellation involves the redistribution of some trace elements contained in the initial lead bullion into the litharge and silver phases, an interdisciplinary approach has been carried out to understand the behaviour of bismuth during this process. Twenty-eight fire-assays were processed with seven different Pb–Bi–Ag alloys of various Bi content. A chemical characterization of all products was carried out. Parallel to the experiments, a thermodynamic approach was undertaken. The combination of experiments and modelling shows that the Bi/Pb ratio can be used as a tracer in silver material throughout the whole cupellation process. Bi and Ag contents in metallic lead might as well highlight the metallurgical process used to obtain lead. High Bi contents in silver–lead bullions are shown to notably reduce the silver extraction yield.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Archaeological stratigraphy as a formal language for virtual
           reconstruction. Theory and practice
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Emanuel Demetrescu
      In recent years there has been a growing interest in 3D acquisition techniques in the field of cultural heritage, yet, at the same time, only a small percentage of case studies have been conducted on the virtual reconstruction of archaeological sites that are no longer in existence. Such reconstructions are, at times, considered “artistic” or “aesthetic” endeavors, as the complete list of sources used is not necessarily provided as a reference along with the 3D representation. One of the reasons for this is likely the lack of a shared language in which to store and communicate the steps in the reconstruction process. This paper proposes the use of a formal language with which to keep track of the entire virtual reconstruction process. The proposal is based on the stratigraphic reading approach and aims to create a common framework connecting archaeological documentation and virtual reconstruction in the earliest stages of the survey. To this end, some of the tools and standards used in archaeological research have been “extended” to taxonomically annotate both the validation of the hypothesis and the sources involved.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Stone pipe-making tools in ancient North America
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): P.B. MacLaren Law de Lauriston , George H. Odell , Timothy Lambert-Law de Lauriston
      Several types of smoking pipes have been manufactured and used throughout later prehistoric and historic times around the world. Although substantial information exists on the styles of these pipes, little is known about their methods of manufacture or the types of sites on which they were made. This study focuses on testing a postulated model of pipe manufacture through the experimental replication of an artifact type known as the Florence/Windom pipe, made of soft red argillite (pipestone), and the use-wear analysis of chipped stone artifacts, representative of stone tools found in association with these pipes. Results of analyses showed that certain tool types, such as reamers, drills, tabular tools, scrapers, and gouges, were integral parts of the manufacture process. Other types, such as punches and awls, proved not to have been employed in this activity. While our model was applied to a regionally specific pipe style and raw material, we suggest that our methods and approach can easily be used generally and more broadly in the analyses of similar archaeological assemblages worldwide.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Urease activity in cultural layers at archaeological sites
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Elena V. Chernysheva , Dmitry S. Korobov , Tatiana E. Khomutova , Alexander V. Borisov
      Urease activity in soils and cultural layers at medieval settlements located within the Kislovodsk basin (Northern Caucasus, Russia) was studied to reveal the sites of cattle keeping and the areas of ancient manured lands. Input of various organic materials increases a microbial biomass and enzymatic activity in soils. In particular, urease activity increases in soils with long-term amendment of manure, compost, and other organic residues due to the improvement of soil fertility and income of ureolytic bacteria together with organic fertilizers. Soil urease activity was estimated in two different zones within Alanic settlement (AD 200–400). In cultural layers of the zone with ruined walls remains urease activity was almost twice higher than in those of the second zone without walls remains. The results demonstrated that buildings of the settlements were used as cattle pens. In the vicinity of other Alanic settlements (AD 500–800), urease activity decreased with distance from settlements. Comparison of urease activity, pottery scattering, and soil phosphorus content made it possible to mark the boundaries of ancient manured lands. The parameter of soil urease activity may be useful in revealing the infrastructure of settlements, sites of cattle keeping, and areas of ancient arable lands.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Dyes used in pre-Hispanic textiles from the Middle and Late Intermediate
           periods of San Pedro de Atacama (northern Chile): new insights into
           patterns of exchange and mobility
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Hermann M. Niemeyer , Carolina Agüero
      Pre-Hispanic Andean textiles constitute the longest continuous textile record in the world, their structure and design being one of the most significant markers of group identity in Andean populations. Since the Late Formative Period (ca. 100–400 AD), the region around San Pedro de Atacama (SPA) in the Atacama desert of northern Chile has been part of a complex and extensive network of interacting polities through which raw materials, agricultural products, goods, people and ideas circulated in the South-Central Andes. The archaeological record in SPA abounds with textiles from various cultures that participated in such network. A study of these textiles would allow intercultural as well as diachronical comparisons. Numerous studies on textiles found in SPA have focused on their technological and iconographic features. This work addresses the identification of the organic dyes employed in the manufacture of 38 textiles found in funerary contexts in SPA from the Middle (ca. 400–1000 A.D.) and the Late Intermediate periods (ca. 1000–1450 A.D.), using high performance liquid chromatography with a diode array detector (HPLC-DAD). Purpurin and not alizarin was found in all red dyed fibers and indigotin (IND) and indirubin (INR) in all blue dyed fibers. Natural sources of these dyes are exogenous to SPA; their importation into SPA lasted for nearly a millennium. A positive correlation was found between [IND]/[INR] concentration ratio and the altitude of the place where the fiber was presumably dyed. Overall, the results indicate that finished garments and also raw dyes and ready-to-use dyed fibers were imported into SPA from neighboring regions and that foreign weavers were possibly active at SPA.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Evaluating airborne LiDAR for detecting settlements and modified
           landscapes in disturbed tropical environments at Uxbenká, Belize
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 57
      Author(s): Keith M. Prufer , Amy E. Thompson , Douglas J. Kennett
      In the tropics of Central America one important use of airborne LiDAR has been the detection of architecture and landscape modifications in ancient city–states, including dispersed residential compounds. For Maya archaeologists, this endeavor has been traditionally referred to as settlement survey. We examine a 99 km2 area surrounding the ancient (ca. 100 BCE–CE 850) Maya city of Uxbenká using both LiDAR and WorldView-2 satellite FCIR imagery. We compare those data sets with test results from pedestrian survey to assess the applicability of LiDAR for detecting small settlement structures and compounds in areas of highly disturbed vegetation. We conclude that the simple use of hill-shaded relief maps does not facilitate visual detection of more than 90% of small (1–3 m high) residential structures. We attribute this to the effect of low, dense vegetation on the number of LiDAR ground returns. We did find, however, that analysis of modified slope raster maps derived from the DEM did allow for identification of hill and ridge top modification that are associated with settlements, suggesting that these proxies have predictive value for identifying residential compounds.


      PubDate: 2015-03-19T20:24:25Z
       
  • Potential of Cone Penetrating Testing for mapping deeply buried
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Tine Missiaen , Jeroen Verhegge , Katrien Heirman , Philippe Crombé
      Geoarchaeological mapping of wetlands conventionally involves extensive coring. Especially in wetlands marked by a deep palaeosurface (>3 m deep) this can be very difficult and time-consuming. In this paper we therefore present an alternative approach based on Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) for structured, rapid and cost-effective evaluation of buried palaeolandscapes. Both estuarine and river floodplain environments were investigated, including the water-land transition zone (marsh). The efficiency, reliability and repeatability of the CPT method was tested through the comparison with ground-truth core data. The CPT data generally allowed highly accurate mapping of the palaeotopography of the prehistoric surfaces and the overlying peat sequences. Thin organic-rich clay intercalations within the peat layers could often still be identified. Additional pore pressure, conductivity and seismic velocity data (from CPT-U, CPT-C and S-CPT) did not add much crucial information and their main use seems to lie in the added value for near surface geophysical measurements. The results of this research clearly illustrate the importance of CPT information for mapping of palaeolandscapes in archaeology.


      PubDate: 2015-01-28T12:55:42Z
       
  • Upper Palaeolithic population histories of Southwestern France: A
           comparison of the demographic signatures of 14C date distributions and
           archaeological site counts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Jennifer. C. French , Christina Collins
      Radiocarbon date frequency distributions and archaeological site counts are two popular proxies used to investigate prehistoric demography, following the assumption that variations in these data reflect fluctuations in the relative size and distribution of past populations. However, the two approaches are rarely applied to the same data-set and their applicability is heavily conditioned by the archaeological record in question, particularly research histories, agendas, and funding availability. In this paper we use both types of data to examine the population history of the Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers (∼40 000–12 000 cal BP) of Southwestern France, comparing the demographic signatures generated. Both proxies produce similar signatures across the Upper Palaeolithic sequence of the region, strengthening the interpretation of relative demographic changes as the cause of the pattern. In particular, a marked population decline is seen in both datasets during the Late Gravettian (∼28 000 cal BP), as well as a population increase in the Late Solutrean (∼25 000 cal BP) supporting the notion that the region acted as a population refugium during the Last Glacial Maximum. Where the two proxies diverge in the demographic signatures they produce, the radiocarbon date distribution shows peaks compared to troughs in site counts; the opposite pattern expected given taphonomic issues surrounding cultural carbon. Despite differences in chronological resolution and sampling bias, our data suggest that the two proxies can be considered broadly equivalent; a finding which warrants the investigation of prehistoric demography in regions where either extensive survey data or radiometric dating programmes are unavailable. While some preliminary observations are made, the impact of changing mobility on diachronic patterns seen in both proxies remains, however, difficult to assess.


      PubDate: 2015-01-20T15:44:24Z
       
  • Bullion production in imperial China and its significance for sulphide ore
           smelting world-wide
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): Siran Liu , Thilo Rehren , Jianli Chen , Changqing Xu , Pira Venunan , David Larreina , Marcos Martinón-Torres
      Gold and silver production was of major importance for almost all ancient societies but has been rarely studied archaeologically. Here we present a reconstruction of a previously undocumented technology used to recover gold, silver and lead at the site of Baojia in Jiangxi province, China dated between the 7th and 13th centuries AD, and discuss its relevance for the study of lead/precious metal production world-wide. Smelting a mixture of sulphidic and gossan ores in a relatively low temperature furnace under mildly reducing conditions, the process involved the use of metallic iron to reduce lead sulphide to lead metal, which acted as the collector of the precious metals. An experimental reconstruction provides essential information, demonstrating both the significant influence of sulphur on the silicate slag system, and that iron reduction smelting of lead can be carried out at a relatively low temperature. These new findings are relevant for further studies of lead and precious metal smelting slags world-wide.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-01-09T15:21:58Z
       
 
 
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