Raw material sources of knapped stone tools from the excavation of the Early Bronze Age site at Toumba Thessaloniki, Greece

  • Stamatia Karageorgiou Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Aikaterini Kostaki Universite Paris 1 Pantheon
  • Michail Vavelidis Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Stelios Andreou Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Keywords: lithic sources, chert, geochemistry, reduction sequence, Toumba, Northern Greece


This study investigates the origin of the lithic findings from the prehistoric site at Toumba, Thessaloniki in Greece, during the Early Bronze Age (EBA). The artefacts from the excavation were studied in order to compare the raw materials utilized for the manufacture of these tools with the geological occurrences of the corresponding materials in the broader region. This research provides evidence for the provenance of these materials and consequently some insight into the socioeconomic system of the settlement. For this reason, samples of siliceous sediments were chosen from regions with similar geological formations, such as Vasilika and Galatista. Apart from macroscopic examination, both archaeological and petrographic, microscopic examination was also applied in order to identify the microstructure and the mineralogical context, and finally geochemical study by ICP-MS analysis and XRF spectrometry for determining the major, trace and rare earth element concentrations. The comparison of these features with the archaeological features reveals that during the Early Bronze Age there was possibly a relation between Toumba inhabitants and the regions of Vasilika and Galatista for the procurement of chert. The petrographic examination of the lithic findings shows whether the tools are manufactured in the settlement or if there is an import of tools from other sites.

Author Biographies

Stamatia Karageorgiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
School of Geology
Department of Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology
Aikaterini Kostaki, Universite Paris 1 Pantheon
Department of Art History and Archaeology
Universite Paris 1 Pantheon
Michail Vavelidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
School of Geology
Department of Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology
Stelios Andreou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Faculty of Philosophy
School of History and Archaeology


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How to Cite
Karageorgiou, S., Kostaki, A., Vavelidis, M., & Andreou, S. (2016). Raw material sources of knapped stone tools from the excavation of the Early Bronze Age site at Toumba Thessaloniki, Greece. Journal of Lithic Studies, 3(2), 439-454. https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.v3i2.1405