Leuven University Press

Studies in Archaeological Sciences

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Studies in Archaeological Sciences

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Handheld XRF for Art and Archaeology

Aaron N. Shugar, Jennifer L. Mass

Over the last decade the technique of X-ray fluorescence has evolved, from dependence on laboratory-based standalone units to field use of portable and lightweight handheld devices. These portable instruments have given researchers in art conservation and archaeology the opportunity to study a broad range of materials with greater accessibility and flexibility than ever before. In addition, the low relative cost of handheld XRF has led many museums, academic institutions, and cultural centres to invest in the devices for routine materials analysis purposes. Although these instruments often greatly simplify data collection, proper selection of analysis conditions and interpretation of the data still require an understanding of the principles of x-ray spectroscopy. These instruments are often marketed and used as ‘point and shoot' solutions; however, their inexpert use can easily generate deceptive or erroneous results. This volume focuses specifically on the applications, possibilities, and limitations of handheld XRF in art conservation and archaeology. The papers deal with experimental methodologies, protocols, and possibilities of handheld XRF analysis in dealing with the complexity of materials encountered in this research.

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Isotopes in Vitreous Materials

Julian Henderson, Greg Hodgins, Patrick Degryse (eds)

For all archaeological artefactual evidence, the study of the provenance, production technology and trade of raw materials must be based on archaeometry. Whereas the study of the provenance and trade of stone and ceramics is already well advanced, this is not necessarily the case for ancient glass. The nature of the raw materials used and the geographical location of their transformation into artefacts often remain unclear. Currently, these questions are addressed by the use of radiogenic isotope analysis. With the specific information the technique provides, archaeologists can further their understanding of the of ancient glass production, based not only on typo-morphological features but also on exact scientific methods. The book captures the state of the art in this rapidly advancing field. It includes methodological papers on isotope analysis, innovative applications of several isotope systems to current questions in glass and glaze research, and advances in the knowledge of the economy of vitreous materials.

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