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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 7, 2009 - Science - 336 pages
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“Archaeomineralogy” provides a wealth of information for mineralogists, geologists and archaeologists involved in archaeometric studies. The first edition was very well-received and praised for its systematic description of the rocks and minerals used throughout the world by our ancestors and for its excellent list of over 900 references, providing easy access to the fields of archaeomineralogy and geoarchaeology.

This second edition of “Archaeomineralogy” takes an updated and expanded look at the human use of rocks and minerals from the Paleolithic through to the 18th century CE. It retains the structure and main themes of the original but has been revised and expanded with more than 200 new references within the text, a bibliography of additional references not included in the text, a dozen new figures (drawings and photos), coverage of many additional important mineral, rock, and gem materials, a broader geographic scope, particularly but not limited to Eastern Europe, and a more thorough review of early contributions to archaeomineralogy, especially those of Agricola.

From reviews of the first edition:

"... crammed full of useful information, is well-balanced using both new and Old World examples of the archaeomaterials described. It also provides a broad, but of necessity, all too brief overview of the geological raw materials used in antiquity." -- Geoscientist

"...provides much interesting discussion of how particular names came to be employed by archaeologists working in different regions of the world.... much to offer for any geologist or archaeologist interested in minerals and rocks and how they have been used in the past." -- Mineralium Deposita

"... a gem of a book, it's strength is that it is encyclopedic in content, if not in layout, draws on a wealth of field experience and almost every sentence contains a nugget of information" -- The Holocene


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I am dismayed to find that the author has completely reversed the point of an article he cited when discussing niello, a black-sulfide compound. I wrote the article (Thomas 2005) in which I showed that the identity of the black substance in the Mycenaean inlaid daggers has not been demonstrated in any laboratory test to date. I certainly did NOT say the substance is a form of "Shakudo". If this careless citing of scholarly work is typical of the rest of this book, I would not recommend Rapp's work.  


Introduction and History
Properties of Minerals
Exploitation of Mineral and Rock Raw Materials
Lithic Materials
Gemstones Seal Stones and Ceremonial Stones
Soft Stones and Other Carvable Materials
Metals and Related Minerals and Ores
Ceramic Raw Materials
Abrasives Salt Shells and Miscellaneous Geologic
Building Monumental and Statuary Materials
Pigments Used in Antiquity
Minerals Rocks and Metals Index
Geographic Index
General Index

Pigments and Colorants

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