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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Minoan Earthquakes

Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity

Simon Jusseret, Manuel Sintubin (eds)

Interdisciplinary study on the role of earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean. Does the “Minoan myth” still stand up to scientific scrutiny? Since the work of Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos (Crete, Greece), the romanticized vision of the Cretan Bronze Age as an era of peaceful prosperity only interrupted by the catastrophic effects of natural disasters has captured the popular and scientific imagination. Its impact on the development of archaeology, archaeoseismology, and earthquake geology in the eastern Mediterranean is considerable. Yet, in spite of more than a century of archaeological explorations on the island of Crete, researchers still do not have a clear understanding of the effects of earthquakes on Minoan society. This volume, gathering the contributions of Minoan archaeologists, geologists, seismologists, palaeoseismologists, geophysicists, architects, and engineers, provides an up-to-date interdisciplinary appraisal of the role of earthquakes in Minoan society and in Minoan archaeology – what we know, what are the remaining issues, and where we need to go. Contributors: Tim Cunningham (Université catholique de Louvain), Jan Driessen (Université catholique de Louvain), Charalampos Fassoulas (Natural History Museum of Crete, University of Crete), Christoph Grützner (RWTH Aachen University, University of Cambridge), Susan E. Hough (U.S. Geological Survey), Simon Jusseret (The University of Texas at Austin, Université catholique de Louvain), Colin F. Macdonald (The British School at Athens), Jack Mason (RWTH Aachen University), James P. McCalpin (GEO-HAZ Consulting Inc.), Floyd W. McCoy (University of Hawaii – Windward), Clairy Palyvou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos (National Observatory of Athens), Klaus Reicherter (RWTH Aachen University), Manuel Sintubin (KU Leuven), Jeffrey S. Soles (University of North Carolina – Greensboro), Rhonda Suka (Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii), Eleftheria Tsakanika (National Technical University of Athens), Thomas Wiatr (RWTH Aachen University, German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy).

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