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Application of strontium isotope analysis to provenance studies of Early Bronze Age North-Mesopotamian Metallic Ware

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Type of Publication:
Ancient ceramics, Archaeometry, Ceramic provenance studies, Cultural development, Early Bronze Age, Northeastern Syria, North-Mesopotamian Metallic Ware, Southeastern Anatolia, Sr isotope analysis
Kibaroğlu, Mustafa; Falb, Christian; Hartmann, Gerald
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
573 - 588
Sr isotopic analysis was carried out on Early Bronze Age (c. 2800–2200BCE) North-Mesopotamian Metallic Ware and clay samples collected from south-eastern Anatolia and north-eastern Syria with a view to determining the provenance of this characteristic ceramic type, in particular of its non-calcareous variant. The non-calcareous and calcareous variants of North-Mesopotamian Metallic Ware, which have been defined in previous archaeometric studies, show a clear distinction in their Sr isotopic signatures. The non-calcareous group is characterised by high 87Sr/86Sr ratios, whereas the calcareous variant has much lower values. The Sr isotopic signature of the non-calcareous group shows similarities with clay samples from the Pütürge Massif area in south-east Anatolia. Combining the results of the present study with previous investigations, it is thought that the raw material used for the production of non-calcareous North-Mesopotamian Metallic Ware could have been originated from the southern part of the Pütürge Massif area. Furthermore, this study proves that Sr isotope analysis is a useful tool for the characterisation and identification of archaeological ceramic provenance.
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