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Abstract

Artifacts made from volcanic glass have been found in archaeological contexts dating from the Late Palaeolithic (ca. 20,000 yr B.P.) through to the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 2700 yr B.P.) in the southern Primorye region of Far East Russia. A geoarchaeological survey of volcanic glass outcrops assessed the various potential sources to determine their potential for sustained exploitation. A characterization study of source samples and artifacts from 27 spatially and temporally dispersed sites using a combination of PIXE-PIGME and relative density identified which sources had actually been exploited and a technological analysis of the assemblages described patterns of use. The combination of these three approaches shows the impact of a relatively stable geological environment on patterns of procurement and exchange. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.