New findings of ancient Greek silver sources

Journal article


Vaxevanopoulos, Markos, Blichert-Toft, Janne, Davis, Gillan and Albarède, Francis. (2022). New findings of ancient Greek silver sources. Journal of Archaeological Science. 137, p. Article 105474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2021.105474
AuthorsVaxevanopoulos, Markos, Blichert-Toft, Janne, Davis, Gillan and Albarède, Francis
Abstract

Over the last 60 years, much analytical research has sought to determine the ore sources of ancient Greek silver artefacts. Lead isotopic analysis has played a key role in this endeavor. While most studies so far have limited their search to places mentioned in historical sources, the present study takes a different approach by first identifying Ag-bearing ore sources in the Aegean world based on their geological characteristics and then using Pb isotopes to determine whether they were exploited in antiquity. To this end, we have geolocated, sampled, and measured high-precision Pb isotopic compositions of 17 Ag-bearing mineralizations in Greece for which we have evidence of ancient mining activity, and a further 10 exhibiting minor Ag occurrences that may also have been exploited in ancient times. We found that Pb model ages provide better discrimination of ore sources than the more conventional plots of raw Pb isotope data.

Keywordslead isotopes; ancient mining; Lavrion; Dysoron; Greece; model ages; silver
Year2022
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Journal citation137, p. Article 105474
PublisherAcademic Press
ISSN0305-4403
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2021.105474
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85120646641
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-27
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Aug 2021
Deposited20 Jan 2022
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