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Aspects of the Petrology and Geochemistry of Greenstones: with special reference to SW England and Wales

P.A. Floyd

School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG

Cite this as: P.A.Floyd 2009 'Aspects of the Petrology and Geochemistry of Greenstones: with special reference to SW England and Wales', Internet Archaeology 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.26.14

Summary

The use of texture, petrology and geochemistry of Neolithic greenstone hand axes, to determine provenance, is well established. However, as many UK greenstones are essentially meta-dolerites (mildly metamorphosed medium-grained basic rocks) it is often necessary to consider the type and degree of alteration superimposed on the primary igneous mineralogy to establish different petrological groups of axes. In particular, alteration and texture can be highly variable in any one large outcrop that might have been used for the manufacture of axes. Similarly, geochemical fingerprinting of axes and subsequent comparison with known outcrops will only be successful if sufficient chemical data are available from any suspected source region when the full range of natural variation has been ascertained.

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