Soapstone Artifacts: Tracing Prehistoric Trade Patterns in Virgimna

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Jan 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4171, pp. 57-58
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4171.57


Rare earth element abundances in soapstone from quarries and artifacts in eastern Virginia were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. By comparing these abundances it was possible to trace artifactual material to the outcrops which served as the source of this material during the first millennium B.C. Certain known sociopolitical boundaries in prehistoric Virginia were inferred to be older than previously assumed.