Session – Mineralogical Approaches to Trace Archaeological Provenance

Geoarchaeology has evolved into a multidisciplinary scientific discipline, which utilizes a variety of elaborate analytical techniques in solving archeological problems. Among them, state of the art mineralogical methods and approaches play a pivotal role in the archaeological studies, because they shed light on the technological advances and provenance of various types of archeological artifacts. In addition, the interaction of mineralogical with geochemical/chemical, microbiological, biochemical and physical methods and approaches contributes to answering key archaeological questions and helps in understanding the social and cultural relationships and changes in prehistoric and historic periods.

The proposed session aims at presenting research based on novel and traditional mineralogical methods and approaches, to characterize and determine the provenance of ancient ceramic artifacts, pigments, building materials and mortars, minerals used for medical purposes (healing minerals), weathered metallic artifacts, slags etc., and their alteration with time and thus contribute to their successful conservation. Moreover, attention will be paid on the provenance of the raw materials used for manufacture of archaeological artifacts and its possible social-economic implications for the ancient populations (trading routes, social habits etc).

Finally, integrated approaches which utilize combination of analytical methods will be included. The session will attract scientists from different backgrounds to present their analytical results and contribute to the solution of important archeological problems. Due to its ramifications, the session is expected to be of high interest not only for the international mineralogical community but also for chemists and physicists with experience in this scientific discipline as well as for archeologists.


Session convenor

Professor George Christidis (Greece)

Technical University of Crete