Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Archaeology

Editor-in-Chief: Harding, Anthony

1 Issue per year


Covered by:
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index
ERIH PLUS

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-6560
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Investigating Technological Changes in Copper-Based Metals Using Portable XRF Analysis. A Case Study in Sicily

Andrea Vianello / Robert H. Tykot
Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2017-0025

Abstract

The introduction of copper-based metals in Sicily appears to have been a particularly late and slow process. A program of pXRF analyses on early metals in Sicily has revealed the use of mostly copper, and a very late introduction of tin. Copper had been in use and extracted in northern Italy since the Late Neolithic (ca. 3500 BC), and spread across the Italian peninsula after that. Yet, copper became widespread in Sicily only in the Bronze Age (ca. 2200-1050 BC), despite some early arrivals. The story of the introduction of copper-based metals in Italy acquires a new layer of complexity and the southwestern corner is providing a fuller perspective of the transmission of metal technology across Italy. This study of about 100 artifacts from Sicily tests the hypothesis that metallurgy and metals became important at a later time compared to other Mediterranean areas.

Keywords : metals; Sicily; pXRF; Copper Age; Bronze Age; copper; bronze

References

  • Affuso, A., & Lorusso, P. (2006). Produzione materiale e circolazione dei beni nella Basilicata ionica tra Bronzo tardo e prima eta del Ferro. In Cocchi Genick D. (Ed.), Materie prime e scambi nella preistoria italiana. Atti della XXXIX Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze, 25-27 novembre 2004, vol. III. (pp. 1349-1359). Firenze: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria.Google Scholar

  • Albanese Procelli, R.M. (2006). Artigianato metallurgico nella Sicilia protostorica. In A. Cardarelli, M. Pacciarelli, A. Vanzetti, Studi di protostoria in onore di Renato Peroni. (pp. 183-189). Firenze: All’Insegna del Giglio.Google Scholar

  • Attema, P., Burgers, G.J., & Leusen, M.V. (2012). Regional pathways to complexity: settlement and land-use dynamics in early Italy from the Bronze Age to the Republican period. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar

  • Blake, E. (2014). Social networks and regional identity in Bronze Age Italy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Broodbank, C. (2013). The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Cazzella, A., & Recchia, G. (2010). The ‘Mycenaeans’ in the central Mediterranean, a comparison between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian seaways. Pasiphae, 3, 27-40.Google Scholar

  • Charalambous, A. (2014). pXRF analysis of Cypriot copper alloy artefacts dating to the Late Bronze and the Iron Age. In V. Kassianidou & M. Dikomitou-Eliadou (Eds.), The Narnia Project- Integrating approaches to Ancient Material Studies. (pp. 134-145). Cyprus: University of Cyprus.Google Scholar

  • Charalambous, A., Kassianidou, V., & Papasavvas, G. (2014). A compositional study of Cypriot bronzes dating to the Early Iron Age using portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF). Journal of Archaeological Science, 46, 205-216. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.006CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • De Miro, E. (1999). Archai della Sicilia greca. Presenze egeo-cipriote sulla costa meridionale dell’isola. L’emporio miceneo di Cannatello. Publications de l’École française de Rome, 251(1), 71-81.Google Scholar

  • De Santis, A. (2006). Evidenza di contatti fra il Lazio protostorico e le regioni limitrofe sulla base della circolazione dei materiali metallici: ipotesi possibili. In Cocchi Genick D. (Ed.), Materie prime e scambi nella preistoria italiana. Atti della XXXIX Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze, 25-27 novembre 2004, vol. III. (pp. 1361-1378). Firenze: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria.Google Scholar

  • Dolfini, A. (2013). The emergence of metallurgy in the central Mediterranean region: A new model. European Journal of Archaeology, 16(1), 21-62. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/1461957112Y.0000000023CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dolfini, A. (2014). Early metallurgy in the central Mediterranean. In Roberts, B., Thornton, C. (Ed.), Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective. (pp. 473-506). New York, USA: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Donati, G., Stagno, F., & Triscari, M. (1978). Ricerche sulle manifestazioni metallifere dei M. Peloritani. III) Giacimenti delle C.de S. Carlo, Montagne e viciniori, presso Fiumedinisi (Messina). Atti Accademia Peloritana Pericolanti, Classe Scienze Matematiche Fisciche Naturali, 56, 177-238.Google Scholar

  • Dussubieux, L., & Walder, H. (2015). Identifying American native and European smelted coppers with pXRF: a case study of artifacts from the Upper Great Lakes region. Journal of Archaeological Science, 59, 169-178. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.04.011CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dylan, S. (2012). Handheld X-ray fluorescence analysis of Renaissance bronzes: Practical approaches to quantification and acquisition. In A. N. Shugar & J. L. Mass (Eds.), Studies in Archaeological Sciences Handheld XRF for Art and Archaeology. (pp. 37-74). Leuven: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar

  • Evans, J.D. (1977). Island archaeology in the Mediterranean: Problems and opportunities. World Archaeology, 9, 12-26. Google Scholar

  • Freund, K.P., Tykot, R.H., & Vianello, A. (2015). Blade production and the consumption of obsidian in Stentinello period Neolithic Sicily. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 14, 207-217.Google Scholar

  • Garrido, F., & Li, T. (2017). A handheld XRF study of Late Horizon metal artifacts: implications for technological choices and political intervention in Copiapo, northern Chile. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 9, 935-942.Google Scholar

  • Geniola, A., Larocca, F., & Vurro, F. (2006). Approvvigionamento di risorse minerarie nella Grotta della Monaca (Sant’Agata di Esaro - Cosenza). In Cocchi Genick D. (Ed.), Materie prime e scambi nella preistoria italiana. Atti della XXXIX Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze, 25-27 novembre 2004, vol. III. (pp. 1349-1359). Firenze: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria.Google Scholar

  • Giannitrapani, E. (2014). Cultura materiale, modi di produzione e organizzazione sociale della piu antica metallurgia nella Sicilia preistorica. In Soprintendenza di Agrigento (Ed.), Le opere e i giorni. (pp. 9-36). Agrigento: Regione Siciliana.Google Scholar

  • Giardino, C. (1997). La metallotecnica nella Sicilia pre-protostorica. In S. Tusa (Ed.), Prima Sicilia: alle origini della società siciliana. (pp. 404-414). Palermo: Regione siciliana, Assessorato al turismo.Google Scholar

  • Giardino, C. (2000). Sicilian Hoards and Protohistoric Metal Trade in the Central West Mediterranean. In Metals make the world go round: the supply and circulation of metals in Bronze Age Europe. Proceedings of a conference held at the University of Birmingham in June 1997. (pp. 99-107) Oxford: Oxbow Books.Google Scholar

  • Giardino, C., Spera, V., & Tusa, S. (2012). Nuovi dati sulla metallurgia della Sicilia occidentale nell’eta del Bronzo. In Dai ciclopi agli ecisti: società e territorio nella Sicilia preistorica e protostorica. Atti della XLI Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, San Cipirello (PA), 16-19 novembre 2006. (pp. 697-708). Firenze: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria.Google Scholar

  • Giumlia-Mair, A. (2009). The hoard under the II hut on the acropolis of Lipari. A metallurgical study. In Lo Schiavo F., Maddin R., Muhly J.D., Giumlia-Mair A. (Eds.), Oxhide Ingots in the Central Mediterranean, Biblioteca di Antichita Cipriote 8. (pp. 161-221). Roma: ICEVO-CNR.Google Scholar

  • Graziadio, G. (1998). Le presenze cipriote in Italia nel quadro del commercio mediterraneo dei secoli XIV e XIII aC. Studi classici e orientali, 46(2), 681-719.Google Scholar

  • Gulli, D. (Ed.). (2015). Storie Sepolte. Riti, culti e vita quotidiana all’alba del IV millennio a.C. La necropoli di contrada Scintilia di Favara, Agrigento. Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali Agrigento. Google Scholar

  • Larocca, F. (Ed.). (2005). La miniera pre-protostorica di Grotta della Monaca (Sant’Agata di Esaro, Cosenza). Roseto Capo Spulico: Centro Regionale di Speleologia Enzo dei Medici.Google Scholar

  • Larocca, F. (2012). Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italia Meridionale): Una miniera neolitica per l’estrazione dell’ocra. In: Borrell, M. et al. (Eds.), Xarxes al Neolític. Circulació i intercanvi de materiès, productes i idees a la Mediterrània occidental (VII-III millenni aC). Actes Congres Internacional, Gava/Bellaterra, 2-4 febrer 2011. (pp. 249-256). Rubricatum 5.Google Scholar

  • Lechtman, H. (1996). Arsenic bronze: Dirty copper or chosen alloy? A view from the Americas. Journal of Field Archaeology, 23, 477-514. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/009346996791973774CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Leighton, R. (1999). Sicily before History. An Archaeological Survey from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press.Google Scholar

  • Liritzis, I. and Zacharias, N. (2013). Portable XRF of archaeological artifacts: Current research, potentials and limitations. In M.S. Shackley (Ed.), X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF) in Geoarchaeology. (pp. 109-142). New York: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Lo Schiavo, F., Macnamara, E., & Vagnetti, L. (1985). Late Cypriot imports to Italy and their influence on local bronzework. Papers of the British School at Rome, 53, 1-71.Google Scholar

  • Lo Schiavo, F., Giumlia-Mair, A., & Albanese Procelli, R.M. (2009). Oxhide ingots in Sicily. In F. Lo Schiavo, J. Muhly, R. Maddin, A. Giumlia-Mair (Eds.), Oxhide ingots in the central Mediterranean, Biblioteca di Antichita Cipriote 8. (pp. 135-221). Roma: ICEVO-CNR.Google Scholar

  • Lo Schiavo, F., Muhly, J.D., Maddin, R., & Giumlia-Mair, A. (Eds.). (2009). Oxhide Ingots in the Central Mediterranean. Roma: A.G. Leventis Foundation. Google Scholar

  • Maniscalco, L. (2000). Osservazioni sulla produzione metallurgica in Sicilia nell’Antica Eta del Bronzo. Sicilia Archeologica, 33(98), 159-166.Google Scholar

  • Mosso, A. (1908). Villaggi preistorici di Caldare e Cannatello presso Girgenti. Monumenti Antichi, 18, 573-690.Google Scholar

  • Norgaard, H. (2017). Portable XRF on prehistoric bronze artefacts: Limitations and use for the detection of Bronze Age metal workshops. Open Archaeology, 3(1), 101-122. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2017-0006CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Orfanou, V., & Rehren, T. (2015). A (not so) dangerous method: pXRF vs. EPMA-WDS analyses of copper-based artefacts. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 7, 387-397.Google Scholar

  • Peterson, D. L., Dudgeon, J. V., Tromp, M., & Bobokhyan, A. (2017). LA-ICP-MS analysis of prehistoric copper and bronze metalwork from Armenia. In L. Dussubieux, M. Golitko & B. Gratuze (Eds.), Recent Advances in Laser Ablation ICP-MS for Archaeology. (pp. 115-133). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Powell, W., Mathur, R., Bankoff, H. A., Mason, A., Bulatović, A., Filipović, V., & Godfrey, L. (2017). Digging deeper: Insights into metallurgical transitions in European prehistory through copper isotopes. Journal of Archaeological Science, 88, 37-46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.06.012CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Risch, R., & Meller, H., (2015). December. Change and continuity in Europe and the Mediterranean around 1600 bc. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 81, 239-264.Google Scholar

  • Scarcella, S., Bouquillon A., & Leclaire A. (2011). Neolithic facies of Stentinello culture: Analysis and comparison of ceramics from Capo Alfiere (Calabria) and Perriere Sottano (Sicily). In I. Turbanti-Memmi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th International Symposium on Archaeometry, 13th - 16th May 2008, Siena, Italy. (pp. 153-158). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar

  • Scott, R.B., Eekelers, K., Fredericks, L., & Degryse, P. (2015). A methodology for qualitative archaeometallurgical fieldwork using a handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. STAR: Science & Technology of Archaeological Research, 1(2), 70-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/20548923.2016.1183941CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Shugar, A.N. (2013). Portable X-ray fluorescence and archaeology: Limitations of the instrument and suggested methods to achieve desired results. In R.A. Armitage and J.H. Burton (Eds.), Archaeological Chemistry VIII. ACS Symposium Series 1147. (pp. 173-195).Google Scholar

  • Tanasi, D. (2008). La Necropoli Protostorica di Montagna di Caltagirone (CT). Polimetrica.Google Scholar

  • Tusa, S. (1999). La Sicilia nella Preistoria. Palermo: Sellerio Editore.Google Scholar

  • Tusa, S. (2001). Mediterranean perspective and cultural integrity of Sicilian Bell Beakers. In Bell Beakers today: pottery, people, culture, symbols in Prehistoric Europe. Proceedings of the International Colloquium Riva del Garda (Trento, Italy) 11-16 May 1998. (pp. 173-186).Google Scholar

  • Tykot, R.H. (2016). Using non-destructive portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometers on stone, ceramics, metals, and other materials in museums: Advantages and limitations. Applied Spectroscopy, 70(1), 42-56. dOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0003702815616745CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tykot, R.H. (2017). A decade of portable (hand-held) X-ray fluorescence spectrometer analysis of obsidian in the Mediterranean: Many advantages and few limitations. MRS Advances, 2(33-34), 1769-1784. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1557/adv.2017.148CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tykot, R.H., Freund, K.P., & Vianello, A. (2013). Source analysis of prehistoric obsidian artifacts in Sicily (Italy) using pXRF. In R.A. Armitage & J.H. Burton (Eds.), Archaeological Chemistry VIII. (pp. 195-210). ACS Symposium Series 1147.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Vianello, A. (2005). Late Bronze Age Mycenaean and Italic Products in the West Mediterranean: a Social and Economic Analysis. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar

  • Van Wijngaarden, G.J. (2002). Use and Appreciation of Mycenaean Pottery in the Levant, Cyprus and Italy (ca. 1600-1200 BC). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar

  • Voza, G. (1973a). Thapsos. Archeologia nella Sicilia Sud-orientale, Napoli, 30-52.Google Scholar

  • Voza, G. (1973b). Thapsos: resoconto sulle campagne di scavo del 1970-71. In Atti XV Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria. (pp. 133-157). Firenze.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-02-04

Accepted: 2017-02-04

Published Online: 2017-12-29

Published in Print: 2017-12-20


Citation Information: Open Archaeology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 392–408, ISSN (Online) 2300-6560, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2017-0025.

Export Citation

© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in