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PREFERRED TERM
heavy mineral analysis  
DEFINITION
  • A method of analysis carried out on artifacts such as potsherds to identify the materials used; the shard is crushed and put into a viscous fluid in which the heavier minerals sink to the bottom. It is used to determine the geological source of the sand inclusions in the clay of the pot, and therefore the probable area of manufacture. The method involves the crushing of 10-30 g. of pottery and the floating of the resulting powder on a heavy liquid such as bromoform with a specific gravity of 2.85. Heavy minerals like zircon, garnet, epidote, and tourmaline sink, while quartz sand and clay float: it is the heavy minerals (separated, identified, and counted under a low-power microscope) which characterize the parent formation, and which enable the source of the sand to be identified.
BROADER CONCEPT
SOURCE
  • https://archaeologywordsmith.com/lookup.php?terms=heavy
BELONGS TO GROUP
URI
https://vocabs.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/iadthesaurus/scheme/concept491
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