Obsidians of Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily): A Petrographic, Geochemical and Magnetic Study of Known and New Geological Sources

Silvio Giuseppe Rotolo, Alessandra Correale, Franco Foresta Martin, Gaia Siravo, Gregor Hahn, Alastair G.E. Hodgetts, Manuela Nazzari, Silvio G. Rotolo, Maria Luisa Carapezza, Manuela Nazzari, Leonardo Sagnotti, Fabio Speranza

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

2 Citazioni (Scopus)


This paper provides new petrochemical and paleomagnetic data from obsidian sub-sources on the island of Pantelleria, exploited since the Neolithic. Data has been obtained from 14 obsidian samples from 4 locations: Fossa della Pernice (2 sites), Salto la Vecchia and Balata dei Turchi. Here, we aim to better characterize these obsidians using a cross-disciplinary and multi-analytical approach, to further understand their archaeological significance. Major element analyses (EMP) have enabled two compositional super-groups to be distinguished: (i) Fossa della Pernice, less peralkaline and (ii) Balata dei Turchi-Salto la Vecchia, distinctly more peralkaline and having almost identical chemical patterns. Trace element analyses (LA-ICP-MS) corroborate major element groupings, with the Balata dei Turchi-Salto la Vecchia super-group being further characterized by a pronounced negative europium anomaly. Glass H2O contents (FT-IR) reveal an overlap among all the sub-sources (H2O = 0.1-0.3 wt. %). Magnetic methods have refined the petrochemical groupings, permitting further distinction between Balata dei Turchi-Salto La Vecchia and the Fossa della Pernice super-groups. The occurrence of sub-microscopic (< 1 μm) ferromagnetic minerals results in different magnetic susceptibility and Natural Remanent Magnetization values and allows the best distinction among the products from the chosen sites. When compared with obsidian tools excavated from Bronze-age settlements on the island of Ustica (230 km NE of Pantelleria), 12% are distinctly peralkaline, indicating their provenance to be from the Balata dei Turchi sub-source.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)434-453
Numero di pagine20
RivistaOpen Archaeology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1200.1204???
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