Multivariate analysis in provenance studies: Cerrillos obsidians case, Peru

A. Bustamante, M. Delgado, R. M. Latini, A. V.B. Bellido

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4 Scopus citations


We present the preliminary results of a provenance study of obsidians samples from Cerrillos (ca. 800-100 b.c.) using Mössbauer Spectroscopy. The Cerrillos archaeological site, located in the Upper Ica Valley, Peru, is the only Paracas ceremonial center excavated so far. The archaeological data collected suggest the existence of a complex social and economic organization on the south coast of Peru. Provenance research of obsidian provides valuable information about the selection of lithic resources by our ancestors and eventually about the existence of communication routes and exchange networks. We characterized 18 obsidian artifacts samples by Mössbauer spectroscopy from Cerrillos. The spectra, recorded at room temperature using different velocities, are mainly composed of broad asymmetric doublets due to the superposition of at least two quadrupole doublets corresponding to Fe 2+ in two different sites (species A and B), one weak Fe3+ doublet (specie C) and magnetic components associated to the presence of small particles of magnetite. Multivariate statistical analysis of the Mössbauer data (hyperfine parameters) allows to defined two main groups of obsidians, reflecting different geographical origins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalHyperfine Interactions
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements ABD thanks the Brazilian Center for Research in Physics (CBPF) and Latin American Center of Physics (CLAF) for his stay. This work was partially supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia del Peru (CONCYTEC) through contract No 405-2001-CONCYTEC-OAJ.


  • Cerrillos-Peru
  • Magnetite
  • Mössbauer spectroscopy
  • Obsidians


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