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The geochemical diversity of neogene clay deposits in crete and its implications for provenance studies of minoan pottery

Hein, A; Day, PM; Quinn, PS; Kilikoglou, V; (2004) The geochemical diversity of neogene clay deposits in crete and its implications for provenance studies of minoan pottery. Archaeometry , 46 (3) pp. 357-384. 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2004.00163.x.

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Abstract

The determination of provenance probably forms the primary role of geochemical analyses in archaeological ceramic studies. In what has comprised a successful field of study, the ultimate basis for such research has been the comparison of pottery compositions with the geochemical diversity displayed by clay deposits within a given study area. Although such studies are now common, the understanding of chemical and mineralogical variability in ceramic raw materials has been somewhat neglected, with the dominance of assumptions rather than the actual analysis of clays. In this paper, a study is presented of Neogene clays in Crete (Greece), a clay type commonly used in ancient and modern pottery production. Sixty-one samples were taken from 28 locations in the central and eastern parts of the island, to reveal both intra- and inter-deposit variability. In one deposit chosen for multiple sampling, the 14 samples display great variability in the alkali elements, Fe and Co, and to a lesser extent in the REEs. Many of the geographically separate deposits differ from each other in chemical composition, with Eastern Cretan deposits showing higher REE concentrations and higher Th/Sc ratios, whereas Central Cretan deposits of younger geological stages are characterized by a lower Th/U ratio. Mineralogical analysis by XRD is used to explain aspects of the geochemical variability of the clays. © University of Oxford 2004.

Type: Article
Title: The geochemical diversity of neogene clay deposits in crete and its implications for provenance studies of minoan pottery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2004.00163.x
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1357908
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