This study considers the chemical alteration of archaeological freshwater shell above the water table at Lyon's Bluff, located in east-central Mississippi, changes in trace element concentrations between unfired and fired shell, and the effect bacteria have on archaeological freshwater shell. Thin-section petrography, X-ray diffraction, cathodoluminescence, and scanning electron microscopy were conducted on archaeological shell from four layers from Unit 20N20W, with a depth of 80 cm spanning 450 years. ICP-MS analysis was also conducted on a modern freshwater shell. Results of the microscopy indicate pristine crystal structure. ICP-MS data show that certain trace elements within the shell maintain their concentration after firing at 500°C. The broader implications are: (1) that diagenetic alteration does not hinder chemical sourcing of shell at Lyon's Bluff, and (2) that certain trace elements are more reliable than others, namely Sr2+, Al2+, Ba2+, and Mn2+, when conducting provenance studies on shell temper.
|Advisor:||Kirkland, Brenda L.|
|Commitee:||Grimes, Craig, Peacock, Evan|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||MAI 50/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Archaeology, Geology, Mineralogy|
|Keywords:||Aragonite diagenesis, Lyon's Bluff, Shell-tempered pottery|
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