The role of geochemistry for sediment provenancing at the archaeological site of Engaruka (Tanzania)

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Geochemical soil analyses are an effective tool to understand sediment provenance in stratigraphic alluvial layers in different archaeological sites.
Our study reports preliminary geochemical results from the ancient agricultural system at Engaruka (Tanzania). Engaruka has a long history of archaeological research and offered the opportunity to test the capability of major elements, trace elements and rare earth elements (REE) to understand soil provenance across an extremely broad time range and across a diversity of soil types. Deep alluvial deposits of up to 3m deep were deliberately accumulated to form agricultural plots by capturing sediments transported by water. 161 samples were obtained from the abandoned agricultural terraces and from the potentially related sediment sources. Geochemical results were acquired by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and data processed using multivariate statistics.
Significant details regarding the sediment sources that supplied the terraces are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2017
EventAfrican Archaeological Research Day - Department of Archaeology, University of York, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Nov 201725 Nov 2017


ConferenceAfrican Archaeological Research Day
Abbreviated titleAARD 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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