PROVENANCING ARCHAEOLOGICAL CHERT FINDS WITH pXRF
INITIAL RESULTS FROM THE EASTERN COAST OF THE BOTHNIAN BAY
Keywords:Bronze Age, Bothnian Bay, chert, provenance, pXRF, weathering
We present the initial results of a research combining non-destructive chemical analyses with a quantitatively and chronologically representative research assemblage – 52 specimens from five sites – to examine the provenance of Late Neolithic and Bronze Age chert finds from the cluster of sites located near the city of Oulu on the eastern coast of the Bothnian Bay. The results confirm the previously observed transition in the use of raw material sources: eastern Carboniferous cherts high in iron were replaced by calcium-rich Cretaceous flints of Scandinavian or southern Baltic origin. We also consider the overall applicability of pXRF as a non-destructive research method to determine the provenance for archaeological chert finds recovered from the coniferous boreal zone, characterized by the impact of post-depositional weathering on the chemical composition of objects found in the soil matrix.