A micro-invasive approach using INAA for new insights into Palaeolithic flint archaeological artefacts

  • M. Isabel Prudêncio
  • C. Roldán
  • M. I. Dias
  • R. Marques
  • Aleix Eixea
  • V. Villaverde


Instrumental neutron activation analysis of small flakes from the same flint fragment of archeological artefacts from Palaeolithic sites (“Abrigo de la Quebrada”, “Cova de les Cendres” and “Cova Negra”), and geological sources (Chelva, Valencia, and Alcoi, Alicante) from the eastern Spain, was performed. The chemical contents of 27 elements were obtained. Ga, Ce, Nd, Yb, Zr and Hf were discarded due to high variations within the same fragment. The identification of chemical fingerprints within heterogeneous flint fragments was able to differentiate flint types and variants (“Domeño” and “Serreta”), contributing to provenance and human mobility in ancient times.


INAA Micro-invasive methodology Flint Archaeological artefacts Provenance 



The authors deeply appreciate the valuable comments and suggestions of the anonymous reviewers. This project was developed with funds of the research project PROMETEOII/2013/016 from the Generalitat Valenciana and the research projects HAR2011-24878 and HAR2014-52671 from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Grateful acknowledgements are also made to all the staff of the Portuguese Research Reactor (RPI) of CTN/IST for their assistance with the neutron irradiations. C2TN/IST authors gratefully acknowledge the FCT (the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation) support through the UID/Multi/04349/2013 project.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares (C2TN), Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLRSPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales de la Universidad de Valencia (ICMUV)PaternaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Prehistoria y ArqueologíaUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain

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