User: Giorgia Sardelli
Organisation: University of Ferrara – Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Antropologiche (IT)
Technique requested: AGLAE external µBeam PIXE detection system
Particle Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE)
Facility: Grand Louvre Accelerator for Elemental Analysis (FR)
The project is integrated into a research programme focused on the study of human behaviours related to the exploitation of iron-rich colouring materials during the latest period of the Pleistocene in Mediterranean Europe. These ferruginous rocks characterised by a colouring capacity represent a very common category of archaeological remains in European Upper Palaeolithic sites where they are found under different forms such as blocks, fragments, powder, residues on different tools and objects along with intentional paintings on diverse materials. Therefore, the colouring materials have a great potential for acquiring information on the technical, economic, and symbolic aspects of prehistoric societies. With the aim of gaining new data on the provisioning strategies adopted by the hunter-gatherer groups of Riparo Tagliente site (north-eastern Italy), the colouring materials from the Late Epigravettian layers and the geological raw materials collected in three main deposits of the limestone plateau of the Lessini pre-Alpine massif (Ponte di Veja, Sant’Andrea e San Bortolo) have been investigated through PIXE during this first campaign of analysis. In particular, the access to the AGLAE facility allowed us to examine 54 samples: 24 archaeological blocks/fragments, 24 polished sections of geological iron-rich rocks, 6 powders of geological samples.