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The Provenience of Galena from Archaic/Woodland Sites in Northeastern North America: Lead Isotope Evidence

  • Ronald M. Farquhar (a1) and Ian R. Fletcher (a2)

Seven burial/habitation sites of the Late Archaic-Early Woodland periods in the Great Lakes area have yielded galenas whose lead isotope ratios define the provenience of the minerals. Galenas at five of the sites probably originated at a single vein near Rossie, New York. A single sample from one site may be from a vein close to the Ottawa River near Ottawa, Ontario. Galena at one site has come from the southern part of the Upper Mississippi Valley mineral district in the central United States. Carbon-14 dates and cultural characteristics suggest that the galenas were obtained over an extended period, perhaps as long as 600 years. Although the data set is small, it appears that galenas found at aboriginal sites in the northeastern Great Lakes region were primarily obtained from two veins within a few hundred kilometers of the site locations.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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