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Third-party-funded project

Mineralogical and chemical composition of amphibolite stone-axes of the Early Neolithic in middle Europe

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

During the Early Neolithic, amphibolites were a preferred material for the production of stone axes. Amphibolites from various occurrences may clearly differ in mineralogical and chemi-cal composition and therefore are very suitable to answer the following questions, if respec-tive analysis is applied: Were the axes from one excavation produced by using amphibolite of one or more occurrences (?), are amphibolites from various excavations similar ore different (?), were are the natural outcrops of the amphibolites used for stone axes (?). To get samples for analysis without destroying the axes too much, a method of core drilling was developed. The drill cores are used for preparation of thin sections, the remains and the carefully sepa-rated filtrate of the drilling fluid are taken for chemical analysis: XRF, LA-ICP-MS, Isotope analysis. At the moment, samples from excavations of the areas Stuttgart, Wetterau, Aschaf-fenburg, Würzburg, Braunschweig and Bunn are under investigation. First, not completely unspectacular results will soon be published.

Key words:
    Early Neolithic
    stone axes
    middle Europe

Projekt period: since 01.2001