Petrographic and geochemical investigation of a stone adze made of nephrite from the Balatonőszöd – Temetői dűlő site (Hungary), with a review of the nephrite occurrences in Europe (especially in Switzerland and in the Bohemian Massif)

Bálint Péterdi, György Szakmány, Katalin Judik, Gábor Dobosi, Zsolt Kasztovszky, Veronika Szilágyi, Boglárka Maróti, Zsolt Bendő, Grzegorz Gil


The present study reports on results of petrographic and geochemical analyses on a stone adze from the archaeological Balatonőszöd – Temetői dűlő site (SW-Hungary, on the southern side of Lake Balaton). This is the largest excavated site of the Baden Culture in Hungary (more than 200,000 m2) and has the longest continuous settlement history. At the site, features of the Balaton-Lasinja Culture (Middle Copper Age) and the Boleraz Culture have also been found. Altogether 500 stone artefacts were found and registered. The present study reports on the results of the investigation of a unique nephrite adze, found on the site. This adze is the first nephrite artefact with an established archaeological context in Hungarian prehistory. By applying detailed petrographic, geochemical and petrophysical methods as well as comparing with published data we have located the origin of the raw material of this nephrite adze. Its most probable source is the northern part of the Bohemian Massif, Lower Silesia, a geological site near Jordanów (Poland).


archaeometry; polished stone tools; baden culture; nephrite; Balatonőszöd (Hungary); Jordanów (Poland)

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