X‐ray fluorescence spectroscopy of picrolite raw material on Cyprus

Moutsiou, Theodora, Ioannides, Demetrios, Charalambous, Andreas, Schoder, Sebastian, Webb, Sam M., Thoury, Mathieu, Kassianidou, Vasiliki, Zomeni, Zomenia, and Reepmeyer, Christian (2022) X‐ray fluorescence spectroscopy of picrolite raw material on Cyprus. Heritage, 5 (2). pp. 664-677.

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Abstract

Picrolite artefacts comprise some of the most distinctive material remains in the prehistory of the island of Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean. Picrolite exploitation dates from at least 12,000 years ago for the manufacture of personal ornaments and items with a symbolic function. It is commonly assumed that picrolite nodules were collected in secondary deposits on an ad hoc basis. This narrative, however, ignores the fact that picrolite carriers can only be found in very specific locations on the island, discrete from each other. Here we report initial outcomes of the application of handheld portable X-ray fluorescence (HHpXRF) and synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (SR-μXRF) to the analysis of picrolite raw materials performed at the newly opened PUMA beamline of the SOLEIL Synchrotron Radiation Facility. Our work refines the basic characteristics of the elemental constituents of the picrolite raw material and highlights key micro-structural differences between two distinct source regions on the Troodos Massif in western Cyprus. Picrolite source characterisation is expected to contribute significant new knowledge to the study of rare raw material consumption, prehistoric social organisation, networking and possible long-distance exchange of this idiosyncratic raw material within and beyond the island’s geographic boundaries.

Item ID: 73269
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2571-9408
Keywords: picrolite; X‐ray fluorescence; synchrotron microspectroscopy; sourcing; Cyprus
Copyright Information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.  This article is an open access article distributed under theterms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 03:24
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430104 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology @ 100%
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