We address three main topics in this paper. First, we briefly review the history of neutron activation analysis (NAA) as an archaeological tool in the United States and Canada. Second, we assess the current potential for undertaking NAA in North America. Third, we comment on methodological and technical issues in archaeometric NAA that are raised by other papers included in this special section.
Sixty Mesa Verde variety Black-on-white bowls from Castle Rock Pueblo (5MT1825) and Sand Canyon Pueblo (5MT765) in southwestern Colorado were chemically characterized using neutron activation analysis. Eleven clay sources local to the sites in the McElmo Drainage area were also analyzed. The results revealed two distinct compositional groups containing relative frequencies that imply local production. The occurrence of trade between the two sites was also identified.
Authors:C. Descantes, M. Intoh, H. Neff, and M. Glascock
Chemical-characterization data from INAA provided information for understanding procurement of clays and production of ceramics
in the Yapese past. By integrating mineralogical and chemical composition studies, we suggest clay-source zone distinctions
for the different Yapese ceramic wares.
Authors:M. Glascock, H. Neff, K. Stryker, and T. Johnson
An abbreviated NAA procedure has been developed to fingerprint obsidian artifacts in the Mesoamerican region. Despite the large number of available sources, an NAA procedure, which relies on producing short-lived isotopes, has been applied with a success rate greater than 90 percent. The abbreviated NAA procedure is rapid and cost competitive with the XRF technique more often applied in obsidian sourcing. Results from the analysis of over 1,200 obsidian artifacts from throughout Mesoamerica are presented.
Authors:R. Speakman, E. Stone, M. Glascock, A. Çilingiroğlu, P. Zimansky, and H. Neff
A total of 275 pottery and clay samples from Urartian period sites in eastern Anatolia were analyzed by INAA. The pottery
sample originates primarily from the fortress and Outer Town at Ayanis and also includes samples from nearby sites in the
Lake Van basin. A small sample of pottery from Bastam, a contemporary Urartian fortress in northwest Iran, and Kef Kalesi,
a site on the north shore of Lake Van were also analyzed. Ten distinct compositional groups were identified during the course
of the analysis suggesting that pottery was produced at multiple locations throughout the Urartian kingdom. In addition to
identifying multiple production locales, we document the long-distance movement of pottery from the sites of Kef Kalesi and
Bastam into the Van Basin and the movement of pottery from Ayanis to Bastam.