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Keywords:

  • grain-size analysis;
  • image analysis;
  • Tadrart Acacus;
  • Takarkori;
  • central Sahara;
  • Holocene;
  • Pastoral Neolithic

This paper proposes the application of digital image processing of plane- and cross-polarized light photomicrographs to textural and morphometric analysis as an extension of routine petrographic characterization. The aim is to answer questions on the provenance and technology of quartz- and calcite-bearing potsherds from the Takarkori rock shelter (Libyan Sahara, from around 8900 to 4200 uncal. years bp). Specific processing algorithms run on image analysis freeware (ImageJ) isolate quartz and calcite inclusions to obtain quantitative textural and morphometric data that are useful in identifying different local fluvial and swampy sedimentary environments as sources of sandy clays for pottery.