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Possible obsidian sources for artifacts from Timor: narrowing the options using chemical data

Ambrose, Wallace; Allen, Charlotte M; O'Connor, Susan; Spriggs, Matthew; Oliveira, Nuno; Reepmeyer, Christian

Description

Measurements made at the Australian National University using laser ablation ICPMS show that none of the 88 analyzed obsidian artifacts from East Timor match either the known Papua New Guinea or the five Island SE Asian source samples in our ANU collections. There is a coastal journey of more than 3000 km between the occurrence of obsidians from the Bismarck Archipelago volcanic province of Papua New Guinea and the Sunda-Banda Arc volcanic chain, yet obsidian artifacts from the two important...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAmbrose, Wallace
dc.contributor.authorAllen, Charlotte M
dc.contributor.authorO'Connor, Susan
dc.contributor.authorSpriggs, Matthew
dc.contributor.authorOliveira, Nuno
dc.contributor.authorReepmeyer, Christian
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:35:50Z
dc.identifier.issn0305-4403
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/35020
dc.description.abstractMeasurements made at the Australian National University using laser ablation ICPMS show that none of the 88 analyzed obsidian artifacts from East Timor match either the known Papua New Guinea or the five Island SE Asian source samples in our ANU collections. There is a coastal journey of more than 3000 km between the occurrence of obsidians from the Bismarck Archipelago volcanic province of Papua New Guinea and the Sunda-Banda Arc volcanic chain, yet obsidian artifacts from the two important PNG sources of Talasea and Lou Island are found at coastal Bukit Tengkorak in eastern Sabah at a similar distance along with material that has no known source. Timor lies south of the eastern section of the active volcanic Banda Arc island chain but it is within range of possible rhyolite sources from there. Although there is a continuous chain of around 60 active volcanoes stretching from west Sumatra to the Moluccas most are basaltic to andesitic with few areas likely to produce high silica dacite-rhyolite deposits. This does not exclude the possibility that the volcanic landscapes may contain obsidian, but without detailed survey and chemical analysis of sources from the Sunda-Banda Arc the attribution of the Timor obsidian artifacts remains to be demonstrated. Timor may seem to be an unlikely source for the presence of obsidians as it lacks reports of the silica-rich rhyolite volcanic centers necessary to produce this material. Despite the absence of detailed survey and analysis of Indonesian obsidian sources, especially from the volcanically active Banda Arc, this paper presents evidence that one of two obsidian sources is clearly from Timor while the other, with less certainty, is also from an unknown local source.
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourceJournal of Archaeological Science
dc.subjectKeywords: archaeological evidence; artifact; chemical analysis; inductively coupled plasma method; obsidian; rhyolite; Asia; Banda Arc; Bismarck Archipelago; East Malaysia; Eurasia; Indonesian seas; Lesser Sunda Islands; Malay Archipelago; Malaysia; Melanesia; Paci Chemical analysis; Obsidian artifacts; Timor natural glasses
dc.titlePossible obsidian sources for artifacts from Timor: narrowing the options using chemical data
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume36
dc.date.issued2008
local.identifier.absfor210102 - Archaeological Science
local.identifier.absfor210106 - Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
local.identifier.ariespublicationu8304786xPUB119
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationAmbrose, Wallace, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationAllen, Charlotte M, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationO'Connor, Susan, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationSpriggs, Matthew, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationOliveira, Nuno, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationReepmeyer, Christian, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage607
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage615
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.022
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:39:35Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-58149279277
local.identifier.thomsonID000263390100004
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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