Sources and Sourcin

Ronald L. Bishop

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Sources and Sourcin

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology by Region
  • Landscape Archaeology


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Archaeologists require information about the production and distribution of artifacts to understand better the complexity of human interactions. Frequently carried out as an investigation of trade and exchange, these studies attempt to form groups of compositionally similar artifacts. These groups are then attributed to variously defined “sources” of the materials from which they were made as a step in determining the direction of movement from the area of extraction to the location of artifact recovery. The majority of sourcing studies rests heavily upon precise chemical data obtained by instrumental analysis. This article comments briefly on some of the more popular techniques being applied and then discusses sourcing considerations.

Keywords: artifacts; sourcing studies; sourcing investigations; artifact recovery

Article.  3970 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; Landscape Archaeology

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