Geologica Belgica

1374-8505

 

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Annelore BLOMME, Patrick DEGRYSE, Philip Van Peer & Jan ELSEN

The characterization of sedimentary quartzite artefacts from Mesolithic sites, Belgium

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Annexes

Mots-clés : Wommersom quartzite, Mesolithic artefacts, provenance, grain size distribution and geochemical composition.

Abstract

This work presents an extensive characterization study of quartzitic tools from different Mesolithic sites in Belgium (with several sites in the vicinity of Tienen). Their properties are compared with those of natural outcrops, i.e. the Wommersom and Tienen quartzite and a third unknown variety. Therefore, a detailed petrographical and geochemical study is performed by means of optical microscopy, point counting, image analysis, scanning electron microscopy, hot-cathodoluminescence microscopy, inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry and portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. It is shown that the geological samples of the sedimentary quartzite varieties can be distinguished based on their texture and composition. The results of the grain size distribution indicate that there is a clear contrast between the fine-grained Wommersom quartzite versus the much coarser-grained Tienen quartzite. On the other hand, the concentrations of the chemical elements zirconium, titanium and iron show a difference between the three quartzite varieties, with the aid of discriminant function analysis. These criteria are applied to a number of archaeological artefacts showing that most of the investigated samples are composed of the fine-grained Wommersom quartzite. The provenance of the more coarser-grained artefacts is still unknown.

To cite this article

Annelore BLOMME, Patrick DEGRYSE, Philip Van Peer & Jan ELSEN, «The characterization of sedimentary quartzite artefacts from Mesolithic sites, Belgium», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 15 (2012), number 3, 193-199 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=3690.

About: Annelore BLOMME

Division Geology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

About: Patrick DEGRYSE

Division Geology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

About: Philip Van Peer

Division Geology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

About: Jan ELSEN

Prehistoric Archaeology Unit, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven, Belgium