Objects

Recent and Ongoing LOL research projects focused on analyses of objects include:

Project: Medieval Archaeology of the South Caucasus: Ceramic Networks Analysis

Description:  The goal of the Ceramic Networks Analysis component of the MASC Project is to compile a baseline comparative compositional dataset for staggered-contemporary Developed Medieval contexts in the Republic of Armenia. Specifically, we are generating a quantitative compositional dataset for ceramic vessel bodies from 11 sites from multiple regions across Armenia, dating from the AD 12th-15th centuries, using the Bruker Tracer III SD portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer operated by Project ArAGATS and the Landscapes and Objects Laboratory at Cornell University. The goals of this research are: (1) to challenge standing assumptions about the spatiality of production and exchange of ceramics and related commodities in the Developed Medieval period, (2) to establish a database for further qualitative components analysis which will continue to add breadth and depth of our understandings of ceramic production and trade in the Developed Medieval South Caucasus, and (3) to provide a basis for new research questions regarding connections between contemporary sites as well as diachronic ceramic traditions.

Project Coordinator: Kate Franklin and Astghik Babajanyan
Status: in progress

Project: Sourcing of Late Bronze Age Obsidians from the Investigations of Project ArAGATS

Description: Adam T. Smith (Cornell) and Ruben Badalyan (Institute of Archaeology, Yerevan, Armenia) are utilizing the LOL pXRF to determine the chemical composition, and hence geological source, of obsidian objects recovered from shrine and burial contexts at the site of Gegharot, Armenia.

Project Coordinator: Adam T. Smith
Status: in progress

Project: Materials Analysis of Cultural Heritage Objects

Description: Louisa Smieska, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is utilizing the LOL pXRF to examine a range of cultural materials in Cornell collections, including the Johnson Museum and the Rare Manuscripts Collection.

Project Coordinator: Louisa Smieska
Status: in progress

Project: Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (pXRF) Analysis of Iroquois Copper Artifacts from New York State

Description: pXRF analysis of items of personal adornment including two tubular rolled copper beads along with a third piece of metal, potentially a copper spiral, from an early 16th century Cayuga Iroquois village site located in upstate New York. The results of this research should indicate if the beads were manufactured from native copper or a European copper based metal alloy. The pXRF will also be used to determine if the third ambiguous piece of metal truly is copper.

Project Coordinator: Samantha Sanft
Status: Completed

Results: all three items of personal adornment were manufactured from European metals not native copper. One bead was constructed from a copper based metal alloy; the other bead and spiral were both constructed from brass. A full description of the methods, results, and interpretations will be included in my forthcoming MA thesis entitled, Beads and Pendants from Indian Fort Road: An Early 16th Century Cayuga Iroquois Site in Tompkins County, New York.

Project: Comparative examination of portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (pXRF) analyses of Late Bronze Age ceramic materials with results from INAA.

Project Coordinator: Alan Greene (UChicago)
Collaborators: Adam T. Smith
Status: Ongoing
Description: Pending

Project: pXRF analysis of Iron 3 ceramic materials from Tsaghkahovit, Armenia

Project Coordinator: Lori Khatchadourian
Collaborators: Catherine Kearns
Status: Ongoing
Description: Pending