Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Beverly Chiarulli, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sarah W. Neusius, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ben Ford, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Jessi J. Halligan, Ph.D.

Abstract

This thesis presents the result of an extensive lithic and geochemical analysis of Suwannee chert from the Wayne's Sink Site, a submerged prehistoric quarry in the Aucilla River, northwest Florida. Portable X-ray Florescence Spectrometry (PXRF) was used to analytically describe the trace-elemental variability of both Suwannee chert control samples and artifacts from the Wayne's Sink lithic assemblage. Chert provenance studies in Florida have traditionally relied on microscopic analysis to provide source differentiations, and researchers have had little success using geochemical sourcing techniques. Staining and patination of chert can create unpredictable testing conditions for PXRF, and thus can negatively affect provenance studies. In order to reevaluate the potential for sourcing chert through geochemical means, both natural and weathered surfaces were analyzed to address the trace-elemental variability of Suwannee chert and the geochemical changes that occur during intrusive chemical weathering.

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