Abstract

Radioisotope x-ray fluorescence analysis was performed to determine normalized elemental intensities for pre-Columbian sherds and roller stamps from different archaeological sites in the Middle Orinoco region of Venezuela. These normalized intensities were used to construct three-component (Triangle) graphs separating the sherds into three groups based on their known origin. The three-component graphs were: (Zn, Sr, Zr), (Rb, Sr, Zr), and (<i>A,</i> Sr, Zr), where <i>A</i> = Cu + Zn + Pb normalized intensities. The total precision was shown to be better than 5% absolute for all cases studied. It was concluded that two of the roller stamps found at one site probably manufactured in a different source area. This lends support to the notion that the roller stamps were a trade item in late pre-Columbian times (1000-1400 A.D.). The method applied in this study using a <sup>109</sup>Cd (2<i>m</i>Ci) source seems to be appropriate for provenance studies of archaeological ceramics where many samples are processed, because it has the inherent advantages of being simple, economical, and rapid.

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