Journal of Archaeological Science vol:38 issue:9 pages:2274-2292
For over a decade, multi-element chemical analysis of floor sediments in archaeological contexts has been a tool to identify and interpret anthropogenic chemical residues and activities. For the current study, a multi-element chemical analysis was applied to floor samples from a Classical-Hellenistic courtyard building at Düzen Tepe (SW Turkey). Among a series of 19 elements analyzed, K, Mg, Fe, P and Sr are thought to directly reflect anthropogenic chemical residues. The elements Cr, Mg, Ni, Pb and Ti are considered to reflect the geological background of the site, yet their contents seem to vary over different chemical residue zones, making them a suitable tool for delineating activity areas. Overall, the sampling and analysis techniques applied at Düzen Tepe – mild acid sample extraction and ICP-OES analysis - have proven to be fit for this kind of study. The analyses allow human activity zones within the study area to be identified and interpreted and deliver insights into the archaeological contexts that could not be obtained by archaeological research alone.