A nondestructive multiparametric protocol for chert investigations (NM-PCI) was developed to provide objective criteria for raw material procurements and provenance investigations of archaeological cherts. For this purpose, macroscopic and mesoscopic characteristics (structures, textures and paleontological contents) were used to describe the main visible chert features as well as colourimetric and geochemical data acquired with portable devices. Data handling was performed by means of cluster analysis multivariate statistics, with an appropriate selection of algorithms to process and visualize mixed data matrices (partitioning around medoids (PAM), t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE)). The protocol was applied to chert samples from the Gargano Promontory (Italy, Apulia) mining complex located in the districts of Peschici, Vieste and Mattinata. These mines, exploited for approximately four millennia, constitute an exceptional prehistoric record of mining archaeology and, above all, a key tool to understand the Neolithisation process throughout the Adriatic region. A map of the primary and secondary chert sources of the Gargano Promontory was produced to manage field sampling of mine structures. Waste materials were selected for the geologic samples of the five mines. Due to their inaccessibility, the samples from two mines consisted exclusively of waste materials. The NM-PCI proved able to discriminate most of the analysed mines and is well suited to provenance investigations of archaeological lithic industries. Compared to previous geochemical studies, the nondestructive method proposed here improves geological resolution, allowing the discrimination of cherts within the same formation.

Development of a multiparametric characterisation protocol for chert investigation and application on the Gargano Promontory mines

Delluniversita E.;Allegretta I.;Monno A.;Maiorano P.;Girone A.;Terzano R.;Eramo G.
2019

Abstract

A nondestructive multiparametric protocol for chert investigations (NM-PCI) was developed to provide objective criteria for raw material procurements and provenance investigations of archaeological cherts. For this purpose, macroscopic and mesoscopic characteristics (structures, textures and paleontological contents) were used to describe the main visible chert features as well as colourimetric and geochemical data acquired with portable devices. Data handling was performed by means of cluster analysis multivariate statistics, with an appropriate selection of algorithms to process and visualize mixed data matrices (partitioning around medoids (PAM), t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE)). The protocol was applied to chert samples from the Gargano Promontory (Italy, Apulia) mining complex located in the districts of Peschici, Vieste and Mattinata. These mines, exploited for approximately four millennia, constitute an exceptional prehistoric record of mining archaeology and, above all, a key tool to understand the Neolithisation process throughout the Adriatic region. A map of the primary and secondary chert sources of the Gargano Promontory was produced to manage field sampling of mine structures. Waste materials were selected for the geologic samples of the five mines. Due to their inaccessibility, the samples from two mines consisted exclusively of waste materials. The NM-PCI proved able to discriminate most of the analysed mines and is well suited to provenance investigations of archaeological lithic industries. Compared to previous geochemical studies, the nondestructive method proposed here improves geological resolution, allowing the discrimination of cherts within the same formation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/243099
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