Preliminary Analyses of Southern French Flint Samples
Staringia , Volume 3 - Issue 1 p. 42- 46
In recent years, attempts have been made to characterise major sources of flint artifacts using methods of element concentration analysis. Sieveking and his colleagues (1) have employed atomic emission and absorption spectrometers whilst other workers (2, 3) have applied neutron activation analysis to the problem. Both approaches have had some success in ‘fingerprinting’ major sources in England, France and the Netherlands. However, when the experiments have been extended to artifacts from related archaeological sites, considerable difficulties have been encountered in assignments to the major sources. It is evident that flint is not homogenous in its trace element composition to the extent that a major geological programme of multi-element analyses is required before large scale assignments of flint artifacts may be contemplated. There remains the possibility, however, that well isolated flint sources may be characterised in such a way that the use of products from them on local archaeological sites may be recognised. This paper presents preliminary results of an investigation into flint sources in the Rhone Valley near Orange, Vaucluse, conducted jointly by the Universities of Bradford and Sheffield.
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