GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 54-12
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


PAVLOVICS, Victoria1, SPRAIN, Courtney1, BLOCH, Lindsay2 and WALLIS, Neill2, (1)Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 241 Williamson Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, (2)Florida Museum of Natural History, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

The methods used in artifact provenance in archaeological research is constantly growing. Identifying the geographical origin of the artifacts can provide information about past migratory patterns and interaction networks. There are a number of geochemical methods currently used in provenance studies, such as X-Ray fluorescence and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. However, these methods are limited when the geochemical composition of artifacts and their sources have low variability, such as in the depleted alluvial sediments of Florida. Rock magnetic techniques have been used to help assess provenance when other techniques have failed. Magnetic analysis can also be useful beyond provenance study and can inform the study of artifact formation techniques, e.g. firing temperatures. Florida’s inhabitants have been making pottery since the late Archaic period, around 4,000 years ago. Clay composition and pottery formation techniques are temporally and geographically specific. Artifact provenance in Floridan pottery has been determined through NAA and petrographic analysis. However, mineralogical variation in this area tend towards continuous gradients making it difficult to construct specific locality. Currently, no one has assessed the rock magnetic properties of Florida pottery. Here, we present preliminary rock magnetic analyses of archaeological pottery sherds and fired clays within the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collection to better understand their magnetic properties, with the goal of assessing the viability of magnetic techniques to better determine provenance and firing history.