Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 30
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM


MCNABB, Kalen D., Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424 and VULAVA, Vijay M., Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424,

Recent advances in the field of geoarchaeology have lead to a greater reliance upon geochemical analysis to identify lithic source material. From 2004 to 2007, the multidisciplinary Göksu Archaeological Project (GAP) has been led annually with researchers to investigate the settlement patterns and land use in the socially complex areas of the Anatolian Plateau and Cilician Plain of Turkey with a focus on geomorphological, typological, petrographic, and geochemical analysis of ceramics and other artifacts. This study sought to analyze the geochemistry of recovered chert samples through the use of microwave assisted acid digestion and an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer with the ultimate goal of obtaining a chemical fingerprint of the source rock. Elemental data regarding these samples were compared from other chert sources around the world and were tested to ensure that a unique and accurate geochemical fingerprint could be obtained. Comparison among the other lithic source materials has shown unusually high concentrations of Mg within the chert recovered from GAP. In addition, rare earth elements (REE), often considered good indicators of the depositional environment of individual outcrops, were analyzed. Preliminary data shows the Göksu chert is dominated by lighter REE (Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, and Gd) comprising approximately 60% of the total REE concentrations. These findings indicate that the recovered chert was formed in a shallow marine environment. This technique, known as fingerprinting, allows comparison between the chert recovered from GAP and other outcrops from various parts of the region and the world and aids in geologically identifying the source of these rocks and potentially other artifacts recovered from this site. Ultimately, this research will aid in the archaeological study of the area including settlement and trade patterns.