Provenancing of archeological pumice finds from North Sinai

Georg Steinhauser, Johannes H. Sterba, Eliezer Oren, Michaela Foster, Max Bichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Seven pumice samples from excavations in North Sinai have been investigated with respect to their geochemical composition. This type of volcanic rock has been used as an abrasive and thus has been an object of trade since antiquity. With the help of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, six of these Bronze Age samples could be correlated to their volcanic sources on the islands of Santorini, Nisyros and Giali (Greece) using the typical element concentrations ("chemical fingerprint"). The source of one pumice sample remains unidentified excluding, however, the Santorini eruption as a possible source. The concluding section of this article discusses the possible contribution, however indirect, of the pumice from Sinai and elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean to the controversial issue of the accurate date of the "Minoan" eruption of Santorini.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalDie Naturwissenschaften
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Chemical fingerprint
  • INAA
  • Pumice
  • Tephrochronology
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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