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Education and Outreach Programs

Neuqua Valley High School ESRP 2016

Studies of Mississippian-aged Paint Samples Using μ−X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure


  • Students:
    • Vanessa Cai
    • Natalie Ferguson
    • Isaiah Robinson
    • Anna Thomas
    • Nadia Young
  • Teachers:
    • Daria Prawlocki
  • Mentors:
    • Mahalingam Balasubramanian (Argonne National Laboratory, X-ray Science Division)
    • Tammie L. Gerke (Miami University, Environmental Geologist)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 20: Spectroscopy/PNC

Taking advantage of the chemical and elemental specificity of μ−X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure, we will determine what red, yellow, black, and white pigments from Wickliffe Mounds’ Sun Circle are composed of. The expected outcome is an understanding of materials used at Wickliffe Mounds to produce pigmented artifacts. If the mineralogy and chemistry of the pigments have a correlation, the data can be used for evidence to support the theory that there was an exchange of knowledge and goods during the Mississippian-ages. Attainment of this data will provide new knowledge pertaining to manufacturing techniques of the Sun Circle(Feature 336) and the NPP at Wickliffe Mounds. The overall objective of this proposal is to characterize the pigments associated with the Wickliffe Mounds’ Sun Circle (Feature 336) and red-filmed” NPP. The research mentioned above will help Archaeologists and Geoarchaeologist by providing a connection between pigment compositions and the dates these plates are from.

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