Trace element characterization of ochre from geological sources

  • R. S. Popelka-Filcoff
  • J. D. Robertson
  • M. D. Glascock
  • Ch. Descantes


As evident from archaeological excavation, ochre was widely used for ceremonial, mortuary, and other purposes around the world. However, the ancient meaning and procurement practices of ochre are not well understood. This study examines the variation in the major, minor and trace element patterns of ochre from iron oxide sources in southeastern Missouri to better understand the differences that may occur within and between sources. Samples were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), and the data were interpreted by Pearson’s linear correlation and multivariate analysis. The data indicate geochemical trends in ochre that satisfy the provenance postulate.


Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Bivariate Plot Ancient People Geological Source Iron Oxide Pigment 
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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Popelka-Filcoff
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. D. Robertson
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. D. Glascock
    • 3
  • Ch. Descantes
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Research Reactor CenterUniversity of MissouriUSA
  2. 2.University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Research Reactor CenterUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’iUniversity of Hawai’iHonoluluUSA

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