Provenancing East Mediterranean cedar wood with the 87Sr/86Sr strontium isotope ratio

87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios of cedar wood from forests in the East Mediterranean have been compiled in order to investigate the feasibility of provenancing archaeological cedar wood finds. Cedrus sp. forests furnished a great amount of wood in antiquity, for purposes ranging from ship to temple construction, and for fashioning cult statues and sarcophagi. The 87Sr/86Sr signatures of archaeological cedar samples may be compared with the preliminary dataset presented here to help determine the geographic origin of wooden artifacts. Sample sites include two forest areas in the Troodos Massif of Cyprus, five in the Lebanon, and two in Turkey’s Taurus Mountains. Sr ratios for wood varieties (i.e., early heartwood, late heartwood, sapwood, and twig wood) demonstrate relative uniformity between the xylem types frequently recovered.
Sara Rich, Sturt W. Manning, Patrick Degryse, Frank Vanhaecke & Karel Van Lerberghe
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences ( ISSN 1866-9557) Archaeol Anthropol Sci. DOI 10.1007/s12520-015-0242-7

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