Geochemical fingerprinting of specular hematite from prehistoric mines and archaeological sites in southern Africa
Kiehn, Adam Victor
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Specularite ore was collected from five prehistoric mining regions in Botswana and the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and 172 samples were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis. A fingerprinting methodology was developed using the geochemical signatures of specularite sources represented by first-row transition metals. A validation set of 15 samples was chosen and underwent the fingerprinting process to test the validity of the method. A deductive elemental limit series analysis reduced the number of possible sources for each validation sample. Discriminant function analysis then correctly classified 14 of 15 validation samples and 6 of 7 specularite artifacts from archaeological sites in Botswana.