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Elemental Analysis of Fine-Grained Basalt Sources from the Samoan Island of Tutuila: Applications of Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) Toward an Intra-Island Provenance Study

  • Phillip R. Johnson
Chapter

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, elemental analysis of basalt artifacts and sources has been an integral component in the archaeological investigation of pre-contact interaction within Polynesia. In this time, the Samoan island of Tutuila has been well documented as a significant source of fine-grained basalt in the West Polynesia–Fiji interaction sphere. Since 2004, the chemical characterization of basalt sources and artifacts from Tutuila has been a primary focus of archaeometric research for the Texas A&M Anthropology Department in cooperation with the Elemental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) at the Texas A&M Center for Chemical Characterization and Analysis. The following chapter discusses recent attempts to determine the efficacy of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) toward the provenance study of basalt procurement sites on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa.

Keywords

Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Principal Component Analysis Score Canonical Discriminant Analysis Basalt Sample Provenance Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Field sampling and research for this project were conducted partially through funding from the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office and the Texas A&M Office of the Vice President for Research. I would first like to thank Dr. William D. James, Director of the EAL at Texas A&M University, for his advice and support and for allowing access to the facilities of the EAL without which this research would not have been possible. I am deeply grateful for the guidance and encouragement of Dr. Peter Mills and Dr. Steve Lunblad from the University of Hawaii at Hilo who shared their EDXRF method and experience analyzing Polynesia basalt artifacts and sources, which lead directly to the calibration of the EDXRF method employed for this project at the Texas A&M EAL. Also, the advice and assistance of Dr. Suzanne L. Eckert was instrumental in the inception and completion of this project. Finally, I need to thank Michael Raulerson, David Foxe, and Daniel Welch for their assistance in the preparation of samples for EDXRF analysis. As always fa’afetai tele to the wonderful people of Tutuila.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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