Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis of the Nyírlugos obsidian core depot find

  • Zsolt Kasztovszky Nuclear Analysis and Radiography Department, MTA Centre for Energy Research, Budapest
  • Katalin T. Biró Hungarian National Museum, Budapest
  • Zoltán Kis Nuclear Analysis and Radiography Department, MTA Centre for Energy Research, Budapest
Keywords: obsidian, depot find, Hungary, Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis


The Nyírlugos obsidian core depot find is one of the most important lithic assemblages in the collection of the Hungarian National Museum (HNM). The original set comprised 12 giant obsidian cores, of which 11 are currently on the permanent archaeological exhibition of the HNM. One of the cores is known to be inDebrecen. The first publication attributed the hoard, on the strength of giant (flint) blades known from the Early and Middle Copper Age Tiszapolgár and Bodrogkeresztúr cultures, to the Copper Age. In the light of recent finds it is more likely to belong to the Middle Neolithic period. The source area was defined as Tokaj Mts., about100 kmto the NW from Nyírlugos. The size and beauty of the exceptional pieces exclude any invasive analysis. Using Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA), we can measure major chemical components and some key trace elements of stone artefacts with adequate accuracy to successfully determine provenance of obsidian. Recent methodological development also facilitated the study of relatively large objects like the Nyírlugos cores. The cores were individually measured by PGAA. The results show that the cores originate from the Carpathian 1 sources, most probably the Viničky variety (C1b). The study of the hoard as a batch is an important contribution to the assessment of prehistoric trade and allows us to reconsider the so-called Carpathian, especially Carpathian 1 (Slovakian) sources.


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How to Cite
Kasztovszky, Z., Biró, K., & Kis, Z. (2014). Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis of the Nyírlugos obsidian core depot find. Journal of Lithic Studies, 1(1), 151-163.
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