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Heritage 2019, 2(1), 467-489; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010032

Origin and Circulation of Calcarenite Artifacts in the Area of Montescaglioso between 6th and 3rd Century BC: An Interdisciplinary Approach

1
Graduate School in Archaeology, Matera-University of Basilicata, IBAM-CNR, 75100 Matera, Italy
2
MAL—Environmental Archaeology Laboratory, University of Umeå, 90187 Umeå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract

The study of stone artifacts and their provenance is an important proxy for understanding the entangled relationship between humans and geological resources. In this paper, we explore the potentialities of an interdisciplinary approach combining in situ documentation of tool marks and characterization of stone types using a near infrared (NIR) portable probe. We argue that this protocol is useful for collecting screening data on objects that cannot be moved or sampled. NIR spectra describe textural and molecular features of the materials and can be used to achieve a preliminary characterization of raw materials. We present a case study from the territory of Montescaglioso (Basilicata, near Matera, Italy), where we combined the analysis of a calcarenite (limestone) quarry, in Masseria D’Alessio, which was exploited since the 6th century BC, as well as artifacts of the same chronology from surveys and excavations in the surroundings. The aim was to collect preliminary data about the distribution of the particular calcarenite extracted from the quarry and identify exploitation and trade patterns. The data were processed using multivariate statistics to highlight the relevant spectral information and perform supervised classification of spectral features. Documentation of tool marks and the process of stone working were combined with the spectral signature of the artifacts to link the stone types to the description of their extraction/carving methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: stone coffins; limestone; multivariate statistics; near infrared spectroscopy; quarry stone coffins; limestone; multivariate statistics; near infrared spectroscopy; quarry
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Roubis, D.; Sciuto, C. Origin and Circulation of Calcarenite Artifacts in the Area of Montescaglioso between 6th and 3rd Century BC: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Heritage 2019, 2, 467-489.

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