Graduation Year

2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Tykot, Robert H.

Keywords

obsidian, western mediterranean, neolithic, trade, lithic technology

Abstract

The study of prehistoric trade and exchange networks in the Western Mediterranean is directly linked to the identification and location of commodities available to Neolithic communities in that region. One of these commodities is a volcanic glass commonly known as obsidian. This investigation focused on the procurement, processing, and distribution of obsidian from the island of Pantelleria, situated between the southwestern coast of Sicily in the Straits of Sicily and the northeastern coast of Africa near Cape Bon, Tunisia. Previous studies indicate that there are several chemically different source areas on the island. Research involved the identification of primary obsidian deposits and the collection of samples from primary and/or secondary sources.

The position of each collection point was recorded using GPS coordinates, photographs, and physical descriptions, including accessibility and geological matrix. Additional information regarding the size, frequency, and grade (i.e. quality for tool production) was also noted.

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