Archaeologists have long been searching for a reliable means to identify the raw material source for artefacts. A pilot study using EDXRF analysis successfully revealed distinctions among flint from three geographical areas in Demark and southeastern Sweden. Now we are testing the method on archaeological artefacts. A successful result will enable us to look at travel and exchange in prehistory.
The pilot study successfully revealed distinctions among flint from three geographical areas in Demark and southeastern Sweden.
The present project is a follow-up study with three goals. First, further samples from the original localities must be analyzed in order to ensure that the groupings remain discrete. Secondly, all the remaining known flint localities will be tested in order to determine the degree to which chemical signatures remain useful to identify flint. The third goal of the project is to test the application of EDAX analysis on archaeological artefacts of flint in order to determine the provenience of the raw material from which the artefacts are made. Here we will be sampling artefacts from Neolithic sites from northern Sweden, where there are no sources of local flint. If EDXRF analysis can be shown to yield reliable results we should be able to pinpoint the raw material source for artefacts.