LegioLit: Knappable material lithotheque in the Prehistory Laboratory at the University of León, Spain
This work introduces a comparative collection specialised in knappable raw materials, mainly comprising radiolarite and black chert, from the western Cantabrian Mountains (north of Iberian Peninsula). A standardised protocol of sample collection and data organisation was developed, which includes the use of several methodologies. First, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for referencing lithic sources. Second, direct observation of the sample for the macroscopic characterization. Third, petrographic microscopy for a petrological, palaeontological and mineralogical characterization. Forth, X-Ray Fluorescence, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry and Thermogravimetry – Differential Scanning Calorimetry for geochemical and thermal features of the samples. Finally, the results of these analysis were entered in a database. All this information is contributing towards the creation of a physical reference collection specialised in local Palaeozoic formations that outcrop in the western Cantabrian Mountains, a region whose potential resource base was previously not very well known. This collection would allow to compare archaeological lithic remains from different sites inside and outside the Cantabrian Mountains.
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