Elemental and Technological Analyses of Basalt Adze Manufacture on Tutuila, Amerika Samoa: Economic Intensification and Specialization During the Monument Building Period
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This dissertation research presents the elemental and technological analyses of basalt adze quarries from the Samoan Island of Tutuila. Both Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) were utilized in the chemical characterization of basalt samples and artifacts. Elemental concentration data derived from both INAA and EDXRF successfully differentiated between multiple Tutuilan basalt adze quarries, and these data were utilized to determine the most efficacious elemental analysis technique for Tutuilan basalt adze provenance study. Elemental concentration data from the Lau’agae quarry were utilized with technological attribute analysis of artifacts recovered from that archaeological site to investigate the potential for economic specialization in the manufacture of basalt adzes. Analysis of both the technological attribute data and the elemental concentration data provided evidence for potential specialization at the Lau’agae quarry. When these data were compared to similar data from other Polynesian archaeological sites it further supported the potential for specialized production at Lau’agae. Ultimately, it was determined that multiple skilled producers created various types of basalt adzes at Lau’agae with the intent to export and exchange their products.
Johnson, Phillip R (2013). Elemental and Technological Analyses of Basalt Adze Manufacture on Tutuila, Amerika Samoa: Economic Intensification and Specialization During the Monument Building Period. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from