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First identification of sudoite in Caribbean Ceramic-Age lapidary craftsmanship

Abstract : Lapidary craftsmanship was an important part of the material culture of Amerindians in the Antilles during the Early Ceramic period (400 BCE to 400 CE). Exhaustive analysis of archaeological beads and pendants from the French islands of the Lesser Antilles has revealed a green lapidary material used for the production of nine artifacts from five archaeological sites: sudoite. This di-trioctahedral member of the chlorite group has the relatively simple chemical formula of Mg2Al3Si3AlO10(OH)8. Previously unknown in sizes suitable for carving, it has never before been identified in any lapidary production and therefore warranted a multi-analytical nondestructive approach to confirm this identification. The analysis was conducted through Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The texture and the chemical composition were assessed through SEM-EDS. Color, UV luminescence, and other gemological parameters were studied through standard gemological methods, UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy, and fluorimetry. Finally, the provenance of the material is considered following a geological approach. The recovery of sudoite artifacts in several archaeological Amerindian sites of the Lesser Antilles supports the already established theory of a pan-Caribbean trade network as old as the first several centuries Before the Common Era.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03465457
Contributor : Alain Queffelec Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 8:31:22 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 26, 2022 - 5:18:08 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 4, 2022 - 7:32:40 PM

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Alain Queffelec, Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet, Eddy A Foy, Yannick Y. Lefrais, Emmanuel Fritsch. First identification of sudoite in Caribbean Ceramic-Age lapidary craftsmanship. Gems & Gemology : the quarterly journal of the Gemological Institute of America, 2021, 57 (3), pp.206-226. ⟨10.5741/GEMS.57.3.206⟩. ⟨hal-03465457⟩

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