Provenance Studies of Polynesian Basalt Adze Material: A Review and Suggestions for Improving Regional Data Bases

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1993
Authors
Weisler, Marshall I.
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University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
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Abstract
Polynesian basalt adze material is the most widely distributed commodity for tracking prehistoric social interaction across space and through time. Since data bases are rapidly developing, the problems and prospects of current distributional studies need review and evaluation. Definitions common to those undertaking basalt provenance studies are provided; the roles of geological information and spatial scale to distributional studies are discussed; basalt analytic and provenance studies are reviewed; macroscopic, petrographic, and geochemical techniques are evaluated; and suggestions for improving data bases are offered. It is concluded that the nondestructive x-ray fluorescence technique is an alternative to destructive analyses. Careful attention to analytical precision, accuracy, and the use of standards will improve intra- and interlab comparison of data sets. Additional sampling of Polynesian basalt sources is urgently needed. KEYWORDS: Polynesia, adze material, provenance studies, macroscopic, petrographic, geochemical, data standardization, nondestructive x-ray fluorescence.
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Polynesia, adze material, provenance studies, macroscopic, petrographic, geochemical, data standardization, nondestructive x-ray fluorescence
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Weisler, M. I. 1993. Provenance Studies of Polynesian Basalt Adze Material: A Review and Suggestions for Improving Regional Data Bases. Asian Perspectives 32 (1): 61-83.
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