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Provenancing East Mediterranean cedar wood with the 87Sr/86Sr strontium isotope ratio

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Abstract
Sr-87/Sr-86 isotope ratios of cedar wood from forests in the East Mediterranean have been compiled in order to investigate the feasibility of provenancing archaeological cedar wood finds. Cedrus sp. forests furnished a great amount of wood in antiquity, for purposes ranging from ship to temple construction, and for fashioning cult statues and sarcophagi. The Sr-87/Sr-86 signatures of archaeological cedar samples may be compared with the preliminary dataset presented here to help determine the geographic origin of wooden artifacts. Sample sites include two forest areas in the Troodos Massif of Cyprus, five in the Lebanon, and two in Turkey's Taurus Mountains. Sr ratios for wood varieties (i.e., early heartwood, late heartwood, sapwood, and twig wood) demonstrate relative uniformity between the xylem types frequently recovered from archaeological contexts. As such, this pilot study also assesses important issues of archaeological sampling and the geographical factors that influence Sr uptake in cedar trees of this region. While the regional signatures are distinct in most cases, small sample sizes and range overlap indicate the need for additional methods to make a case for a certain source forest. Alone, this method continues to be best used to disprove assumed wood provenances.
Keywords
Cedrus sp, Dendroprovenance, East Mediterranean, Strontium isotopes, Timber trade, TREE-RINGS, NEW-MEXICO, FORESTED WATERSHEDS, CEDRUS-LIBANI, CHACO CANYON, SR, POLLUTION, LEBANON, TURKEY, URBAN

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Chicago
Rich, Sara, Sturt W Manning, Patrick Degryse, Frank Vanhaecke, and Karel Van Lerberghe. 2016. “Provenancing East Mediterranean Cedar Wood with the 87Sr/86Sr Strontium Isotope Ratio.” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 8 (3): 467–476.
APA
Rich, S., Manning, S. W., Degryse, P., Vanhaecke, F., & Van Lerberghe, K. (2016). Provenancing East Mediterranean cedar wood with the 87Sr/86Sr strontium isotope ratio. ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 8(3), 467–476.
Vancouver
1.
Rich S, Manning SW, Degryse P, Vanhaecke F, Van Lerberghe K. Provenancing East Mediterranean cedar wood with the 87Sr/86Sr strontium isotope ratio. ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 2016;8(3):467–76.
MLA
Rich, Sara, Sturt W Manning, Patrick Degryse, et al. “Provenancing East Mediterranean Cedar Wood with the 87Sr/86Sr Strontium Isotope Ratio.” ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES 8.3 (2016): 467–476. Print.
@article{8511579,
  abstract     = {Sr-87/Sr-86 isotope ratios of cedar wood from forests in the East Mediterranean have been compiled in order to investigate the feasibility of provenancing archaeological cedar wood finds. Cedrus sp. forests furnished a great amount of wood in antiquity, for purposes ranging from ship to temple construction, and for fashioning cult statues and sarcophagi. The Sr-87/Sr-86 signatures of archaeological cedar samples may be compared with the preliminary dataset presented here to help determine the geographic origin of wooden artifacts. Sample sites include two forest areas in the Troodos Massif of Cyprus, five in the Lebanon, and two in Turkey's Taurus Mountains. Sr ratios for wood varieties (i.e., early heartwood, late heartwood, sapwood, and twig wood) demonstrate relative uniformity between the xylem types frequently recovered from archaeological contexts. As such, this pilot study also assesses important issues of archaeological sampling and the geographical factors that influence Sr uptake in cedar trees of this region. While the regional signatures are distinct in most cases, small sample sizes and range overlap indicate the need for additional methods to make a case for a certain source forest. Alone, this method continues to be best used to disprove assumed wood provenances.},
  author       = {Rich, Sara and Manning, Sturt W and Degryse, Patrick and Vanhaecke, Frank and Van Lerberghe, Karel},
  issn         = {1866-9557},
  journal      = {ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES},
  keyword      = {Cedrus sp,Dendroprovenance,East Mediterranean,Strontium isotopes,Timber trade,TREE-RINGS,NEW-MEXICO,FORESTED WATERSHEDS,CEDRUS-LIBANI,CHACO CANYON,SR,POLLUTION,LEBANON,TURKEY,URBAN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {467--476},
  title        = {Provenancing East Mediterranean cedar wood with the 87Sr/86Sr strontium isotope ratio},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-015-0242-7},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2016},
}

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