By adapting an off-the-shelf portable x-ray lab tool that analyzes the composition of chemicals, Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations can reveal hidden information about a [clay] tablet's composition without damaging the precious ancient find itself. These x-rays reveal the soil and clay composition of a tablet or artefact, to help determine its precise origin.This sounds like a great combination of portable xrf, as calibrated by lab-based methods
Over the years, he has collected extensive data through physical "destructive" sampling of artefacts. By comparing this data to readouts produced by the XRF device, he's built a table of results so that he can now scan a tablet –– touching the surface of it gently with the machine ― and immediately assess its clay type and the geographical origin of its minerals.
The tool, he says, can also be applied to coins, ancient plasters, and glass, and can be used on site or in a lab. He plans to make this information widely available to other archaeological researchers.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Portable xrf used to provenance clay tablets