YRA Seminar Series

New Seminar Series

We are happy to announce a new Seminar Series with monthly presentations highlighting exciting research of ECRs!
Each month, we will host an online 1-hour meeting, with about 30 minutes presentations followed by a discussion on the topic. ECRs from around the globe will be invited to present diverse topics, reflecting the multidisciplinary character of archaeological sciences. We aim to have these talks in a relaxed atmosphere, with discussions around a cup of morning coffee, a lunch break, or an afternoon tea depending on the time zone of the participants.
The time slots of each presentation will be accommodated to be the most comfortable for the presenter and listeners from their targeted research area.

The talks will be held online via Zoom. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Next presentation: July 1st, at 8:00 am (UTC)

Seminar Zoom link

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

You can convert to your local time zone with, e.g., timeanddate.com.

Tinos’ lost ancient serpentinite quarry (Cyclades, Greece): an interdisciplinary approach
Alkiviadis Sideridis (University of Athens, Greece)

Keywords: Stone analysis; Serpentinite; Cyclades Greece; Ancient quarry

Abstract:
The study of marble and coloured-stone production centres of antiquity carries a significant role in the scientific community, being a subject where natural and archaeological sciences may interweave, aiming to decipher quarrying methods, trade and the unique geological fingerprint of the stones. Contemporary quarrying activity on Tinos Island, Greece, is focused on ophicalcites (metasomatic rock consisting of serpentine and carbonates), however, the studied ancient quarry of Ag. Georgios Ras (Ras serpentinite) consist of a distinctive serpentinite, with no carbonate participation when compared to the neighbouring ophicalcite. Ras serpentinite was quarried from two small-scale open pits demonstrating tool marks, grooves, as well as holes for inserting wedges. The serpentinite consists of, macroscopically and mineralogically, two serpentine varieties, a dark green demonstrating massive texture and a light green forming a network of fibrous serpentine. Research efforts on serpentinite provenance are limited and lack information and data when compared to the study of white marble. This study aims to enrich the present database using a variety of techniques, including XRD, LA-ICP-MS and physicomechanical tests to determine the geochemistry, geotectonic environment of formation and strength characteristics of the Ras serpentinite. The geological study is framed, in an interdisciplinary approach, by archaeological and lichenometrical data and observation to further shed light upon the newly explored Ras serpentinite quarry.


a) Macroscopic texture of Ras serpentinite with dark-green mass and light-green network;
b) photomicrograph of the two serpentine varieties, namely chrysotile and lizardite;
c) backscattered electron image depicting the minnesotaite (mns) and magnetite © A. Sideridis.

Programme

Time: 8:30 am (UTC)
Title: Copper technologies in Taiwan and the Philippines during the Metal Age
Keywords: Copper-based metallurgy; South-East Asia; Metal Age; Maritime exchange
Abstract: In the island contexts of South-East Asia and Taiwan, the development of metallurgy followed a different time-period and pattern compared to the Mainland. Indeed, in Taiwan and the Philippines, there is no mention of a Bronze and Iron Age but of a Metal Age (or directly an Iron Age) since iron, copper-based, glass and precious metal technologies seem to appear together in archaeological context. The first signs of metallurgy in the island contexts of Taiwan and the Philippines appear to have followed similar patterns; no Bronze Age, no sign of primary production, only secondary production and where maritime exchange is a central issue in the development of these technologies. Metallurgy would probably have reached the islands through maritime contacts with mainland Southeast Asia, where metallurgical practices took place earlier (11-13th BC) and maritime contacts have been known since the Neolithic period, notably through nephrite objects. Current evidence seems to support that Taiwan and the Philippines did not have any primary production of copper during the Metal Age but still needs to be proved by future studies. It has been proposed that raw materials and some finish objects were imported. However, secondary production activities are attested with molds, both in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Copper and its alloys are one of the materials thought to come from the maritime interactions and thus represent an important proxy to study the movements of goods/communities/technologies between the different areas around the South China Sea. Regarding the similarities observed between Taiwan and the Philippines as well as the ancient exchanges attested between the two areas, the current project aims to collect data in order to start discussing the copper-based traditions and the potential exchange networks. We also hope that the data can contribute to understand the origin, timing and development of copper-based metallurgy in Taiwan and the Philippines and its link to other regions for the acquisition of raw materials/finish objects. Around 50 scientific samples, mainly in Taiwan so far, have been collected to be studied following an archaeometric approach (Optical Microscopy, SEM-EDS and ongoing lead isotope analyses). In Taiwan, the current results show that artefacts are diverse, both in terms of their forms (such as bells, vessels, knife handles, Chinese coins, unidentified fragments) and composition (alloys), including bronze, leaded-bronze, high-tin bronze, unalloyed copper, leaded copper and brass. Some artefacts result probably from oversea exports. In Taiwan, differences can also be observed between sites, probably as a result of the different metallurgical practices identified during the excavations, such as secondary production activities.

Time: 8:00 am (UTC)
Title: Tinos’ lost ancient serpentinite quarry (Cyclades, Greece): an interdisciplinary approach.
Keywords: Stone analysis; Serpentinite; Cyclades Greece; Ancient quarry
Abstract: The study of marble and coloured-stone production centres of antiquity carries a significant role in the scientific community, being a subject where natural and archaeological sciences may interweave, aiming to decipher quarrying methods, trade and the unique geological fingerprint of the stones. Contemporary quarrying activity on Tinos Island, Greece, is focused on ophicalcites (metasomatic rock consisting of serpentine and carbonates), however, the studied ancient quarry of Ag. Georgios Ras (Ras serpentinite) consist of a distinctive serpentinite, with no carbonate participation when compared to the neighbouring ophicalcite. Ras serpentinite was quarried from two small-scale open pits demonstrating tool marks, grooves, as well as holes for inserting wedges. The serpentinite consists of, macroscopically and mineralogically, two serpentine varieties, a dark green demonstrating massive texture and a light green forming a network of fibrous serpentine. Research efforts on serpentinite provenance are limited and lack information and data when compared to the study of white marble. This study aims to enrich the present database using a variety of techniques, including XRD, LA-ICP-MS and physicomechanical tests to determine the geochemistry, geotectonic environment of formation and strength characteristics of the Ras serpentinite. The geological study is framed, in an interdisciplinary approach, by archaeological and lichenometrical data and observation to further shed light upon the newly explored Ras serpentinite quarry.

Title: Chrysocolla at high temperatures: understanding Pre-Hispanic metallurgy through Collahuasi slag analysis (Tarapaca, Chile).

Title: Ungulate paleoecology and Magdalenian subsistence at Petersfels (Hegau Jura, Germany): New insights from ZooMS and stable isotope analyses.

To be announced.