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Geochemical analysis of the truncated Viking Age trading settlement of Heimdalsjordet, Norway.

Cannell, R.J.S., Bill, J., Cheetham, P. and Welham, K., 2020. Geochemical analysis of the truncated Viking Age trading settlement of Heimdalsjordet, Norway. Geoarchaeology, 35 (5), 748-771.

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DOI: 10.1002/gea.21795


Single and multi-element archaeological geochemistry has been applied to research and rescue projects for many decades to enhance our understanding of the past use of space. Often applied on one contextual plane, this ignores the complex palimpsest resulting from past occupation and soil processes. Furthermore, many important sites are now heavily truncated by ploughing, leaving little more than negative features below the homogenised topsoil. These challenges require new approaches to archaeological geochemistry in order to gather information before these sites are lost to modern land use. The research presented here applied coring as a sampling method on a truncated site, the sample locations guided by high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) data and excavation, before using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) directly on the core samples to understand the phase by phase composition of the deposits and thus past human occupation. The results suggest that even in truncated and secondary contexts, such as the case study of the Viking Age trade settlement of Heimdalsjordet, Norway, archaeological geochemistry can give insight into the chronological and spatial development of the site, and is especially relevant for detecting non-ferrous metal-working activity.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funding information: Arts and Humanities Research Council; Bournemouth University
Uncontrolled Keywords:geochemistry, pXRF, coring, geophysics, Viking Age
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32143
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 Apr 2019 08:44
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:15


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