Journal article

1500 Years of Pottery: Neutron Activation Analysis of Northern Chilean Domestic Ceramics from Caleta Vitor and Clay Samples from Nearby Valley, Coast and Highland Contexts

CA Bland, AL Roberts, RS Popelka-Filcoff, CM Santoro, C Carter, JW Bennett, A Stopic

ARCHAEOMETRY | WILEY | Published : 2017


This paper presents the findings arising from neutron activation analysis (NAA) of northern Chilean domestic ceramic samples from Caleta Vitor (n = 38) and clay samples (n = 15) from nearby valley, coast and highland contexts. This study presents the first NAA data set of ceramics spanning a temporal period of 1500 years (c.2000 to c.476 bp) from the Vitor Valley as well as the first attempt to use NAA to characterize potential clay sources in the region. On the basis of this study, we argue that the majority of domestic ceramics from Caleta Vitor share compositional similarities with clay samples collected from nearby valleys, allowing us to infer that the Caleta Vitor populations primarily..

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Awarded by Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)

Awarded by FONDECYT project grant

Awarded by CONICYT's Programa de Investigacion Asociativa (PIA), Proyecto Anillo Codigo

Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) for providing the grants that funded this study (ALNGRA13503, ALNGRA14011 and ALNGRA14516). R. Popelka-Filcoff acknowledges the support from the AINSE Research Fellowship. We thank Miguel Moreno, a local professional potter, for assisting us to identify suitable sources of clay for pottery production, which were then sampled in this project. C. Santoro thanks the FONDECYT project grant 1150763 and CONICYT's Programa de Investigacion Asociativa (PIA), Proyecto Anillo Codigo SOC1405. C. Bland wishes to thank Mariela Santos from the Azapa Valley Museum for allowing access to their ceramic collection. We also thank Chris Carter for making the ceramics available for study and for dealing with all ethical/permit issues. Thanks are also due to the useful comments provided by two anonymous referees, as well as the Editors of Archaeometry.