This work presents an extensive characterization study of quartzitic tools from different Mesolithic sites in Belgium (with several sites in the vicinity of Tienen). Their properties are compared with those of natural outcrops, i.e. the Wommersom and Tienen quartzite and a third unknown variety. Therefore, a detailed petrographical and geochemical study is performed by means of optical
microscopy, point counting, image analysis, scanning electron microscopy, hot-cathodoluminescence microscopy, inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry and portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. It is shown that the geological samples of the sedimentary quartzite varieties can be distinguished based on their texture and composition. The results of the grain size distribution
indicate that there is a clear contrast between the fine-grained Wommersom quartzite versus the much coarser-grained Tienen quartzite.
On the other hand, the concentrations of the chemical elements zirconium, titanium and iron show a difference between the three quartzite varieties, with the aid of discriminant function analysis. These criteria are applied to a number of archaeological artefacts showing that most of the investigated samples are composed of the fine-grained Wommersom quartzite. The provenance of the more
coarser-grained artefacts is still unknown.