The Carpathian obsidians: Contribution to their FT dating and provenance (Zemplín, Slovakia)

Milan Kohút*, John A. Westgate, Nicholas J.G. Pearce, Pavel Bačo

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Carpathian obsidian samples from the Slovakian part of the Zemplín – Tokaj area have been studied by means of fission-track dating (FT) and geochemistry to better understand the provenance of the archaeological obsidians from the Central Europe realm. New FT obsidian ages obtained by the isothermal plateau method (ITPFT) are in a narrow time interval between 12.45 ± 0.45 and 11.62 ± 0.25 Ma, and indicate a short-time monogenic volcanic evolution rather than a long-lasting volcanism over the 16–10 Ma period, as was previously thought. Geochemically, these obsidians belong to the silica-rich, peraluminous, high-potassium, calc-alkaline rhyolite series volcanic rocks with a ferroan character which were derived by multi-stage magmatic processes from mixed mantle and crustal sources during subduction in a volcanic arc tectonic setting. Chemical composition of the Carpathian obsidians clearly exhibits a common similarity among all examined localities (Brehov, Cejkov, Hraň, and Viničky). A comprehensive provenance study, including physical properties of the obsidians, confirms a general congruence within the studied obsidians and the use of common provenance labelling, such as Carpathian-1 (C1) for the Slovakian – Zemplín area obsidians, is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102861
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date13 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2021


  • FT dating
  • Geochemistry
  • Obsidian
  • Provenance
  • Western Carpathians


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