Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 International Association for Obsidian Studies PXRF Shootout

Society for American Archaeology Meeting, Memphis, TN
April 18, 2012 from 8:00–6:00 (exact location TBD)

Jeff Speakman,
Center for Applied Isotope Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
M. Steven Shackley,
Archaeological XRF Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM
Michael D. Glascock,
Archaeometry Laboratory, University of Missouri Research Reactor, Columbia, MO
Arlen Heginbotham,
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Over the past 10 years, widespread availability in portable XRF instrumentation has resulted in a major paradigmatic shift in how obsidian source studies are conducted. This has resulted in concerns by some about the potential misuse of this emerging technology as well as a host of questions regarding accuracy, precision, and reproducibility. Following Shackley’s recent essay in the SAA Archaeological Record (see Nov 2010 pdf article ), we will hold a PXRF “shootout” at the 2012 SAA Meeting in Memphis. The purpose of this round robin exercise will be to evaluate the current state of inter-laboratory reproducibility when conducting quantitative portable XRF analyses of obsidian.

The round robin will occur from 8:00–6:00 on Wednesday April 18, 2012. Participants will be asked to analyze 10-12 obsidian samples (and optionally 4 ceramics) using their portable instrument and preferred calibration routine. Upon completion of the measurement, participants will complete a worksheet that describes their experimental setup, calibration routine, and values they determined from the analyses. Participants will receive 2–3 pieces of obsidian (and ceramics) that were included in the round robin to take with them. Results from this study will be tabulated and published in an appropriate venue.

If you own a portable XRF instrument and have analyzed or are contemplating the analysis of obsidian, this is something you will not want to miss!

Preregistration for this event is required and participation is limited.
Contact Jeff Speakman archsci@uga.edu to reserve your spot.

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