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obsidian, Lipari, subsources, trade, Neolithic

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The Aeolian island of Lipari, just north of eastern Sicily, was a major geological source of high quality obsidian that was volcanically formed in the Late Mesolithic, followed by another major production in the 1st millennium AD. A much earlier volcanic event on Lipari also produced some obsidian, but not of sufficient quality for tool production. A detailed geological survey of the Lipari obsidian source areas, including assessments of quantity, quality, accessibility, and visual variation was performed, followed by elemental analyses using INAA, LA-ICP-MS, ED-XRF, and pXRF which show that many different groups may be distinguished from each other. Geochemical analyses of several thousand obsidian artifacts from sites in Sicily and southern Italy reveal that two early Holocene subsources, Gabellotto Gorge and Canneto Dentro, were used during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

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Open Archaeology, v. 5, issue 1, p. 83-105