Int. netværksprogram. Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse.
Research area: The project explores jade using cultures around the World during
the Stone Age and combines researchers from areas of archaeology, archaeometry, geology, mineralogy, geochemistry and socio-economics, which is why an interdisciplinary approach is essential. All participants in the network will focus on identifying the sources, distribution of axes and using standardized comparable provenance methods. Scientific focus: Our hypothesis is focused on investigating the emergence of value within prehistoric societies and higher ranking hierarchy together with the systematic exploitation of rare and prestigious raw materials such as jade. First we will concentrate on gaining the first world-wide overview of the jade sources and investigate when, why and how they were exploited during the prehistoric times. Secondly it is necessary to exchange geological samples and discuss which analysis methods should be used, in order to compare the provenance results on a global scale. Thirdly it is essential to compare the chemical composition of the geological
samples with the archaeological assemblages of jade axes. Fourthly it is important to explore the possibilities for making some of the methods, like LC-ICP MS portable, so that it can be used on archaeological assemblages such as axes/adzes stored in countries, where borrowing samples of archaeological materials is difficult. Finally, it is of cardinal importance to discuss the heritage management of the jade sources, as some are threatened by modern exploitation despite being archaeological localities.
Expected outcomes: The planned activities are two workshops (one at The Danish
Institute in Athens/DIA, Greece and one at Tohoku University, Japan) in 2019. The
reason why we would like to have a workshop at DIA in Greece, is because it is
planned to visit the earliest exploited jade source in Europe, which is located on the
island of Syros. In Japan it is planned to visit the world famous type-locality source
of Itoigawa. The researchers will have a unique opportunity to meet and present
their research, to explore possibilities for further collaboration and grant proposals.
The outcome will be a joint conference publication as well as a number of joint
articles in geological and archaeological journals.