Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

What X-Ray Spectrometry Can Say About Provenience: A Case Study from USU's Museum of Anthropology

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology Department

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Molly Boeka Cannon

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

In 1982, the Utah State University Museum of Anthropology received a donation of nearly 2,000 archaeological artifacts from a local collector. This collection, known as the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection (accession number 82.01), contains primarily precontact artifacts including lithic, ceramic, faunal, and perishable materials. Often the case with avocational collections, little to no site location information or context is recorded with the artifacts. What little provenience information exists with the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection is general and fails to specify to which artifacts it refers. In an attempt to determine relative provenience and to assess assemblage characteristics for the collection’s ceramics, we employ x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to conduct a raw material source analysis (i.e., mineralogical and elemental compositions). Archaeological theory concerning precontact pottery suggests that the construction, use, transportation, and disposal of prehistoric pottery occur in relative proximity to its raw material sources. Operating under this assumption, x-ray spectrometry should reveal a relative provenience designation for the collection’s pottery artifacts based off of the geographical distribution and availability of their raw material sources. Here, we discuss the results of the x-ray spectrometric analyses and how these results inform upon determining relative provenience designations for the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection.

Location

Room 421

Start Date

4-13-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 2:45 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 13th, 1:30 PM Apr 13th, 2:45 PM

What X-Ray Spectrometry Can Say About Provenience: A Case Study from USU's Museum of Anthropology

Room 421

In 1982, the Utah State University Museum of Anthropology received a donation of nearly 2,000 archaeological artifacts from a local collector. This collection, known as the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection (accession number 82.01), contains primarily precontact artifacts including lithic, ceramic, faunal, and perishable materials. Often the case with avocational collections, little to no site location information or context is recorded with the artifacts. What little provenience information exists with the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection is general and fails to specify to which artifacts it refers. In an attempt to determine relative provenience and to assess assemblage characteristics for the collection’s ceramics, we employ x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to conduct a raw material source analysis (i.e., mineralogical and elemental compositions). Archaeological theory concerning precontact pottery suggests that the construction, use, transportation, and disposal of prehistoric pottery occur in relative proximity to its raw material sources. Operating under this assumption, x-ray spectrometry should reveal a relative provenience designation for the collection’s pottery artifacts based off of the geographical distribution and availability of their raw material sources. Here, we discuss the results of the x-ray spectrometric analyses and how these results inform upon determining relative provenience designations for the ‘Bud’ Peterson Collection.