This study uses XRF (X-ray fluorescence) and ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) analyses to determine the chemical composition of raw material used in stone tool production. The goal is to identify where stone adzes, which are common in Neolithic sites on the coast of Mainland China, were produced and if they were transported from the production areas to other places. Our study focuses on adzes from three Neolithic sites located on the Fujian coast of Mainland China, opposite Taiwan. The sites date to between 6500 and 3500 b.p. All of the adzes we sampled are made of volcanic rock. A diverse selection of raw materials, including basalts, andesites, and dacites, was used in manufacturing the adzes, indicating that they are made of rock deriving from many diĀ¤erent geological formations. None of the adzes have identical chemical signatures. There is no evidence of specialized centers for adze production. Some of the adzes were probably produced locally, while others were obtained through exchange. This project sets the stage for future research to trace the development and the extent of southeast China Neolithic exchange networks.


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pp. 275-297
Launched on MUSE
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