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Title

Provenance of Early Bronze Age metal artefacts in Western Switzerland using elemental and lead isotopic compositions and their possible relation with copper minerals of the nearby Valais

Authors
Guénette-Beck, Barbara
Meisser, Nicolas
Ansermet, Stefan
Hofmann, Beda
Kündig, Rainer
Huber, Véra
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Published in Journal of Archaeological Science. 2011, vol. 38, p. 1221-1233
Abstract Ten Early Bronze Age (BzA1, 2200e2000 BC) copper artefacts from the central Valais region from Switzerland were studied for their elemental composition and lead isotope ratios. In order to answer the archaeological question of a local copper supply, a database for copper minerals across the Valais (Switzerland) has been established. This database contains 69 data on lead isotope ratios as well as additional information on the minerals and geochemical associations for copper minerals from 38 locations in the Valais. Comparisons of the artefacts were also made with data pertaining to minerals from various deposits from Europe and Anatolia taken from the literature. The provenance of the materials is very diverse. Some of the data are compatible with the data from the copper mineral deposits of the Valais region. Moreover, three copper lunulae were identified as possibly Tuscan, which suggests contacts between Italy and the Valais region. This pattern also establishes a multiplicity of provenances for the metal and cultural influences in the Alpine environment of the Rhone Valley of Switzerland at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age.
Keywords EuropeArchéologieSuissePréhistoireCampaniformeNéolithiqueCuivreIsotopesEarly bronze age Valais (Switzerland)Copper artefactsCopper oresMaterial provenanceLead isotope ratiosElemental compositionICP-MS inductively coupled plasma massSpectrometryLA laser ablation
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Research group Laboratory of Prehistoric Archaeology and Anthropology

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Deposited on : 2011-04-19

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