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Pofatu, a curated and open-access database for geochemical sourcing of archaeological materials

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Hermann,  Aymeric
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Forkel,  Robert
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hermann, A., Forkel, R., McAlister, A., Cruickshank, A., Golitko, M., Kneebone, B., et al. (2020). Pofatu, a curated and open-access database for geochemical sourcing of archaeological materials. Scientific Data, 7(1): 141. doi:10.1038/s41597-020-0485-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-6053-0
Abstract
Compositional analyses have long been used to determine the geological sources of artefacts. Geochemical “fingerprinting” of artefacts and sources is the most effective way to reconstruct strategies of raw material and artefact procurement, exchange or interaction systems, and mobility patterns during prehistory. The efficacy and popularity of geochemical sourcing has led to many projects using various analytical techniques to produce independent datasets. In order to facilitate access to this growing body of data and to promote comparability and reproducibility in provenance studies, we designed Pofatu, the first online and open-access database to present geochemical compositions and contextual information for archaeological sources and artefacts in a form that can be readily accessed by the scientific community. This relational database currently contains 7759 individual samples from archaeological sites and geological sources across the Pacific Islands. Each sample is comprehensively documented and includes elemental and isotopic compositions, detailed archaeological provenance, and supporting analytical metadata, such as sampling processes, analytical procedures, and quality control.