Four types of obsidians from the Monte Arci volcanic complex (Sardinia) were used by Neolithic men in the North Tyrrhenian area of the western Mediterranean. A map of their occurrences from primary sources (mother rocks) to distant secondary deposits in the surrounding plains is presented. Some 1457 specimens were macroscopically characterized and in addition ~15% of them fingerprinted from their elemental compositions as determined by electron microprobe, neutron activation analysis or ion beam analysis. The results show that secondary sources, up to now largely neglected in provenance studies of ‘archaeological’ obsidians will have from now to be taken into account. .
Obsidian, Monte Arci, Sardinia, provenance studies