This contribution discusses the preliminary results of a comparative study of ochres associated with human skeletal remains from two Mesolithic sites of southwestern Europe: S’Omu e S’Orku (Sardinia, Italy) and Los Canes (Asturias, Spain). Seventeen ochre fragments were analysed: four from S’Omu e S’Orku and thirteen from Los Canes. The S’Omu e S’Orku samples were collected from the Mesolithic layers (B-C) containing the ochred skeletal remains SOMK 1 (adult male) and SOMK 2 (young adult female) dated to ca. 7700 cal BC, whereas, the Los Canes ochres were recovered from the sediments filling burials dated between ca. 6000-5200 cal BC: 6-III (1 adult male), 6-II (1 sub-adult male, lower limbs of another individual), 6-I (adult female). Nowadays, many analytical techniques are used to characterize prehistoric pigments. For this study an integrated approach based on the use of binocular microscope, SEM-EDS system and X-Ray Florescence, has been chosen. The microscopic observation shows common traits in the ochres from the two sites. The fragments have a deep red clayey fine-grained matrix, in some cases with inclusions of quartz and calcite. SEM-EDS analysis on surface evidences a micro-crystalline structure with high Fe concentration for about the 68% of the total fragments analyzed. Furthermore, the XRF on powder allow obtaining quantitative data of major and minor elements that are processed by statistical tests to recognize correlations and/or variations with patterns distribution. The association of colorant ores with Mesolithic burials makes S’Omu e S’Orku and Los Canes two key-sites for the understanding of symbolic human behavior. Furthermore, this integrated approach for comparative studies provides valuable information to interpret the cultural traits of two geographically distant prehistoric realities.

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH FOR A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF OCHRE REMAINS FROM MESOLITHIC HUMAN BURIALS OF SOUTHWESTERN EUROPE: THE CASE OF S’OMU E S’ORKU (SARDINIA, ITALY) AND LOS CANES (ASTURIAS, SPAIN).

Eliana Catelli
;
Margherita Mussi
2017

Abstract

This contribution discusses the preliminary results of a comparative study of ochres associated with human skeletal remains from two Mesolithic sites of southwestern Europe: S’Omu e S’Orku (Sardinia, Italy) and Los Canes (Asturias, Spain). Seventeen ochre fragments were analysed: four from S’Omu e S’Orku and thirteen from Los Canes. The S’Omu e S’Orku samples were collected from the Mesolithic layers (B-C) containing the ochred skeletal remains SOMK 1 (adult male) and SOMK 2 (young adult female) dated to ca. 7700 cal BC, whereas, the Los Canes ochres were recovered from the sediments filling burials dated between ca. 6000-5200 cal BC: 6-III (1 adult male), 6-II (1 sub-adult male, lower limbs of another individual), 6-I (adult female). Nowadays, many analytical techniques are used to characterize prehistoric pigments. For this study an integrated approach based on the use of binocular microscope, SEM-EDS system and X-Ray Florescence, has been chosen. The microscopic observation shows common traits in the ochres from the two sites. The fragments have a deep red clayey fine-grained matrix, in some cases with inclusions of quartz and calcite. SEM-EDS analysis on surface evidences a micro-crystalline structure with high Fe concentration for about the 68% of the total fragments analyzed. Furthermore, the XRF on powder allow obtaining quantitative data of major and minor elements that are processed by statistical tests to recognize correlations and/or variations with patterns distribution. The association of colorant ores with Mesolithic burials makes S’Omu e S’Orku and Los Canes two key-sites for the understanding of symbolic human behavior. Furthermore, this integrated approach for comparative studies provides valuable information to interpret the cultural traits of two geographically distant prehistoric realities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1019646
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