Identification of possible source areas of stone raw materials combining remote sensing and petrography

H. Tanyaş, Murat Dirican, M. Lütfi Süzen, Asuman G. Türkmenoğlu, Çağıl Kolat, Çiğdem Atakuman

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Understanding the location and distribution of raw materials used in the production of prehistoric artefacts is a significant part of archaeological research that aims to understand the interregional interaction patterns in the past. The aim of this study is to explore the regional locations of the source rock utilized in the production of stone bowls, which were unearthed at the Neolithic (approximately 6500–5500 BC) site of Domuztepe (Kahramanmaraş-Turkey), via a combination of remote-sensing methods, petrographic and chemical analyses. To accomplish this task, the stone bowls were
identified mineralogically, geochemically and spectrally, and then mapped with Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensors. According to the defined mineralogical composition, which is iron-rich chlorite, the target areas were selected among geologically potential areas that would bear similar source rocks in near vicinity and the target spectral signature was searched within these target areas. In order to overcome the problem of spectral similarity of chlorite group to some other minerals such as carbonate or epidote group minerals,
band ratioing (BR) and feature-oriented principal component analysis (FOPCA) were used with an integrated approach and then their results were filtered according to the outcomes of the relative absorption band-depth (RBD) images. The areas with highest potentials were vectorized and then field checked. Mineralogical investigations
on the collected field samples reveal that there is a mineralogical match between the source and target material. One group of stone bowls samples have similar geochemical signatures as the field samples having ultramafic origins. However, there is another group of stone bowls samples which are geochemically dissimilar to the first group of field and bowls samples. The data regarding the geochemical signatures of these two groups indicate a genetic relation between the sample sets. Therefore, it is concluded that the source rock of a major portion of the stone bowls unearthed at Domuztepe most probably originated from the near vicinity of the site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3923-3942
JournalInternational journal of remote sensing
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


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