Mineralogy and chemical composition of lithic artifacts for identification of provenance in Salobo archaeological sites. Lima Costa

published: 28 Oct 2015  |  
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  • SESSION 6 - Characterising lithic sources
    Mineralogy and chemical composition of lithic artifacts for identification of provenance in Salobo archaeological sites, Carajás mineral province, Pará, Brazil

    The region of the Carajás Mineral Province is home to several archaeological sites with numerous lithic artifacts in various stages of operational chain. Are artifacts that still require mineralogical and chemical studies whose results may help in the identification of raw materials and their provenance, and therefore contribute to the characterization studies of cultural traits. From this perspective lithic artifact recovered in the impact area of the Salobo copper mine (and gold with by-product) were investigated. They are beads and pendants used as loud of a complete operational chain. The results obtained by XRD, XRF and SEM / EDS show that the raw material used is a semi-hard kaolin (semi-flint) consisting mainly of kaolinite, and cryptocrystalline quartz, crandallite group phosphates (florencite), sericite and hematite. Equivalent material was found in Alto Bonito amethyst mines, 20 km of sites, and then considered as the source area of the raw material used for the manufacture of these devices, which is enhanced by association with amethyst and hyaline quartz chips also associated the semi-hard kaolin. So the people of this region knew how to exploit its mineral wealth in loud production and technological artifacts to the operational chain.

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