The geological sources of obsidian in the Red Sea region provide the raw material used for theproduction of obsidian artefacts found in prehistoric sites on both sides of the Red Sea, as farafield as Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia. This paper presents the chemical characterization of five obsidian geological samples and 20 prehistoric artefacts from a systematicallyexcavated Neolithic settlement in highland Yemen. The major element concentrations were determined by SEM–EDS analysis and the trace element concentrations were analysed by the LA–ICP–MS method, an almost non destructive technique capable of chemically characterizing the volcanic glass. A comparison of archaeological and geological determinationsallows the provenance of the obsidian used for the Neolithic artefacts to be traced to definite sources in the volcanic district of the central Yemen Plateau.

PROVENANCE OF OBSIDIAN ARTEFACTS FROM THE WĀDĪ ATH-THAYYILAH 3 NEOLITHIC SITE (EASTERN YEMEN PLATEAU) BY LA-ICP-MS

BARCA, Donatella;
2012

Abstract

The geological sources of obsidian in the Red Sea region provide the raw material used for theproduction of obsidian artefacts found in prehistoric sites on both sides of the Red Sea, as farafield as Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia. This paper presents the chemical characterization of five obsidian geological samples and 20 prehistoric artefacts from a systematicallyexcavated Neolithic settlement in highland Yemen. The major element concentrations were determined by SEM–EDS analysis and the trace element concentrations were analysed by the LA–ICP–MS method, an almost non destructive technique capable of chemically characterizing the volcanic glass. A comparison of archaeological and geological determinationsallows the provenance of the obsidian used for the Neolithic artefacts to be traced to definite sources in the volcanic district of the central Yemen Plateau.
obsidian; trace elements; LA-ICP-MS
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/141993
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