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Characterization of New England Chert Sources by Neutron Activation
 

Characterization of New England Chert Sources by Neutron Activation

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Invited presentation at the Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society. November 12-16, 2006. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Invited presentation at the Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society. November 12-16, 2006. Albuquerque, New Mexico

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    Characterization of New England Chert Sources by Neutron Activation Characterization of New England Chert Sources by Neutron Activation Presentation Transcript

    • Characterization ofNew England Chert Sources by Neutron Activation Matthew T. Boulanger Robert J. Speakman Michael D. Glascock Archaeometry Laboratory, Missouri University Research Reactor
    • Champlain Valley Chert► Often used by archaeologists working outside the state to imply long-distance trade  Typically in Paleoindian contexts► Identified visually► Generally black, sometimes mottled
    • • Hathaway Geological Context Northern Valley ► Radiolarian chert within Mid–Upper Ordovician shale ► Hathaway formation ► Melange-type deposit ► Chert is black  Sometimes mottled grey- green
    • Geological Context Central & Southern Valley ► Upper Cambrian–Lower Ordovician dolomites ► Ticonderoga, Whitehall, and Cuttings (Great Meadows) formations ► Bedded chert within dolomite• Cuttings ► Chert is black• Whitehall  Sometimes mottled• Ticonderoga
    • Champlain Valley Burlington►4 known quarries  Northern Valley ►Brooks Farm ►Lazy Lady Island  Central Valley ►Thompsons Point Middlebury  Southern Valley ►Mount Independence
    • Neutron Activation Analysis► Sample is crushed► Resulting fragments are selected► 2 analytical samples are:  Prepared  Irradiated  Counted ► Immediately (8 short-lived elements) ► After 1 week (7 medium-lived elements) ► After 3 weeks (17 long-lived elements)► Statistical analyses of elemental data
    • Future Directions► Refine & Expand Database  Additional samples from these sources  Identify new quarries, and correct the existing site survey  Sources elsewhere in New England► Incorporate petrographic studies► Expand study to include artifact analysis► Develop & test hypotheses to move beyond gross generalizations