During my PhD research I investigated the use of lead isotopes as tracers for ancient ceramics provenance. More specifically, it consisted in the analysis of lead isotopes of Late Bronze Age pottery fragments mainly excavated in Cyprus and their comparison with clay sources. A total of 155 pottery fragments from four sites in Cyprus (Hala Sultan Tekke, Alassa-Pano Mandilaris, Sanida-Moutti tou Ayiou Serkou, Enkomi-Ayios Iacovos), one in Syria (Minet el-Beida) and one in Palestine (Tell el-Ajjul) were analyzed. The pottery fragments were selected to cover a broad range of possible origins including utilitarian wares (likely to be made with clays available around the site), fine wares (likely to be made with specific clay sources) from Cyprus and imports. These ceramics were compared to a set of 149 clay sources collected all around the island in the four main geological zones (Troodos Ophiolite, Circum Troodos Sedimentary Succession, Mamonia Terrane, Kyrenia Terrane) and in the different formations likely to provide clay sources.

Related publications are: Renson et al., 2014. Archaeometry, 56 (2), 261-278; Renson et al., 2013. Geoarchaeology, 28, 517-530; Renson et al., 2013. Applied Geochemistry, 28, 220-234; Renson et al., 2011. Archaeometry, 53 (1), 37-57; Renson et al., 2007. SIMA, XLV 12, 53-60; De Vleeschouwer et al., 2011. Geoarchaeology, 26 (3), 440-450.

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My Master thesis consisted in the geochemical study of a peat sequence next to an ancient road buried in a peatbog in Eastern Belgium. Multiproxy approach including lead isotopes and elemental geochemistry provided evidence for a transportation of Pb-Zn ore from the nearby Pb-Zn ores on the road as well as for the mining of these ore deposits as early as during early Roman times.

Full story is published in Renson et al., 2008. Applied Geochemistry, 23, 3253-3266.