Chronological and chemical approaches to obsidians from Bakla Tepe and Liman Tepe, Western Anatolia


JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS, vol.32, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier


In this study, the provenance of 42 obsidians from the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age levels of two settlements - Bakla Tepe and Liman Tepe - located on the Aegean coast of Anatolia were investigated with an interdisciplinary approach using fission-track (FT) dating, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and Epithermal Neutron Activation Analysis (ENAA). Some artefacts showed FT ages of a few thousand years. Apparent FT ages of the remaining samples are distributed over a wide range, from 0.53 +/- 0.03 to 1.43 +/- 0.20 Ma. After application of the size-correction method, most artefacts were distributed in a homogeneous group characterized by FT ages varying from 1.48 +/- 0.47 to 1.80 +/- 0.20 Ma, with a mean value of 1.65 +/- 0.05 Ma and low induced track density corresponding to low U content. The remaining 3 samples showed relatively high induced track densities. One of them has an apparent age of 0.53 +/- 0.03 Ma and a sizecorrected age of 1.02 +/- 0.07 Ma. The probable potential sources for the studied samples were identified as the island of Melos in the Aegean, and the central Anatolian sources - particularly the Golludag complex - through comparison of the FT data. INAA and ENAA studies have been carried out on 34 artefacts at the TRIGA Mark II research reactor of the University of Pavia. The identification of the sources was attained through cluster analysis of the chemical data. These results agree fully with those obtained by FT dating: most artefacts originated from the Melos-Dhemenegaki flow, and only 3 samples from central Anatolia. The current study provides a contribution to a better understanding of the circulation of obsidians in Anatolia.