Provenance and characterization of archaeological ochre are pivotal for understanding the capabilities of prehistoric humans in selecting, processing and treating adequate raw materials for symbolic and utilitarian purposes at a local or regional geographic scale. Sourcing areas as routinely identified through geochemical studies whilst microscopic techniques are generally neglected. The Western sector of the Lessini Mountains (Veneto, NE Italy) offers an ideal situation for exploring the application of Polarizing Light Microscopy (PLM) supported by Scanning Electron Microscopy and micro-analysis (SEM/EDS) to address the proposed goal, as iron-rich deposits are still available in the area and ochre was found in Fumane cave and Tagliente rock-shelter Palaeolithic sites. Results are very promising and diverse potential sources were excluded for the future scientific investigations due to the differences detected in the textural and mineralogical composition of certain raw materials with respect to the archaeological samples. Furthermore for most archaeological ochres it was possible to trace potential source(s) on the base of the identification of distinctive characteristics.

Textural, Microstructural and Compositional Characteristics of Fe-based Geomaterials and Upper Palaeolithic Ocher in the Lessini Mountains, Northeast Italy: Implications for Provenance Studies

FONTANA, Federica;PERESANI, Marco;
2017

Abstract

Provenance and characterization of archaeological ochre are pivotal for understanding the capabilities of prehistoric humans in selecting, processing and treating adequate raw materials for symbolic and utilitarian purposes at a local or regional geographic scale. Sourcing areas as routinely identified through geochemical studies whilst microscopic techniques are generally neglected. The Western sector of the Lessini Mountains (Veneto, NE Italy) offers an ideal situation for exploring the application of Polarizing Light Microscopy (PLM) supported by Scanning Electron Microscopy and micro-analysis (SEM/EDS) to address the proposed goal, as iron-rich deposits are still available in the area and ochre was found in Fumane cave and Tagliente rock-shelter Palaeolithic sites. Results are very promising and diverse potential sources were excluded for the future scientific investigations due to the differences detected in the textural and mineralogical composition of certain raw materials with respect to the archaeological samples. Furthermore for most archaeological ochres it was possible to trace potential source(s) on the base of the identification of distinctive characteristics.
Giovanni, Cavallo; Fontana, Federica; Federica, Gonzato; Peresani, Marco; Maria Pia, Riccardi; Roberto, Zorzin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2379145
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