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The application of micro-Raman for the analysis of ochre artefacts from Mesolithic palaeo-lake Flixton

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JournalJournal of Archaeological Science Reports
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Dec 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2018
Volume17
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)650-656
Early online date20/12/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Ochre is an important mineral pigment used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers across the globe, and its use in the Mesolithic is no exception. Using optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy with micrometre spatial resolution (micro-Raman), we present evidence that confirms unambiguously the use of ochre by hunter-gatherers at Mesolithic sites surrounding Palaeo-Lake Flixton, Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK. Our results suggest that people collected ochre and processed it in different ways, likely for diverse purposes. The quality and specificity of chemical characterisation possible with micro-Raman facilitates new avenues for further research on ochreous materials in Britain, including provenancing through chemical ‘fingerprinting’.

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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • Mesolithic, hunter-gatherers, haematite, ochre, reflected visible light microscopy, Raman microspectroscopy

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