A large number of polished stone implements from Palaeolithic to Bronze Age sites of Northern Italy and Southern France are made of high-pressure (HP) metamorphic rocks (eclogite and related rocks) mainly consisting of Na-pyroxene (jadeite to omphacite) coming from the metamorphic belt of the Western Alps. The standard archaeometric study of prehistoric stone implements follows a procedure that is invasive, expensive and time-consuming. Since Na-pyroxenes may show a large compositional range, a thorough study of the variations affecting the dhkl values, obtained by X-ray diffraction, of three selected reflections as a function of different chemical composition was carried out, in order to determine the chemistry of Na-pyroxenes isomorphic mixtures and roughly evaluate their relative amounts. These reflections (-221, 310, 002) are sharp, intense and sensitive to the variation of pyroxene chemical composition. Using such dhkl values measured on pyroxenes of known chemistry, a Ca-pyroxene (Di) - Jadeite (Jd) - Aegirine (Ae) compositional diagram was constructed, from which the composition of an unknown pyroxene can be estimated within an error of about 5%. When the size of the object is relatively small and a flat polished surface is present the proposed analytical procedure becomes totally non-invasive. The data obtained shed light on the provenance sources of such implements and the prehistoric trade routes.

An easy non-invasive X-ray diffraction method to determine the composition of Na-pyroxenes from high-density 'greenstone' implements

GIUSTETTO, Roberto;CHIARI, Giacomo;COMPAGNONI, Roberto
2008

Abstract

A large number of polished stone implements from Palaeolithic to Bronze Age sites of Northern Italy and Southern France are made of high-pressure (HP) metamorphic rocks (eclogite and related rocks) mainly consisting of Na-pyroxene (jadeite to omphacite) coming from the metamorphic belt of the Western Alps. The standard archaeometric study of prehistoric stone implements follows a procedure that is invasive, expensive and time-consuming. Since Na-pyroxenes may show a large compositional range, a thorough study of the variations affecting the dhkl values, obtained by X-ray diffraction, of three selected reflections as a function of different chemical composition was carried out, in order to determine the chemistry of Na-pyroxenes isomorphic mixtures and roughly evaluate their relative amounts. These reflections (-221, 310, 002) are sharp, intense and sensitive to the variation of pyroxene chemical composition. Using such dhkl values measured on pyroxenes of known chemistry, a Ca-pyroxene (Di) - Jadeite (Jd) - Aegirine (Ae) compositional diagram was constructed, from which the composition of an unknown pyroxene can be estimated within an error of about 5%. When the size of the object is relatively small and a flat polished surface is present the proposed analytical procedure becomes totally non-invasive. The data obtained shed light on the provenance sources of such implements and the prehistoric trade routes.
A64
161
168
Neolithic greenstone implements; clinopyroxene; jadeite; omphacite; compositional grid; XRD
GIUSTETTO R; CHIARI G; COMPAGNONI R
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/103936
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