Nuclear Analytical Techniques in Archaeological Investigations

Technical Reports Series No. 416

Subject Classification: 0304-Nuclear analytical techniques

English STI/DOC/010/416; (ISBN:92-0-106203-6); 188 pp.; 49 figures; € 44.00; Date Published: 2003

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Pre-Hispanic pottery has long been a focal point of archaeological investigations in Latin American countries. Identification of the chemical composition of such materials can give information on production sites and techniques, trade habits, and provide insight into socio-economic relationships. This book details the results of the Co-ordinated Research Project initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna with the assistance of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA to introduce the principles of archaeo-chemical fingerprinting and foster the application of nuclear analytical methods to archaeological investigations by application of validated Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to pottery samples. Analytical scientists and archaeologists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Peru participated in the project and investigated materials from a number of their archaeological sites. The great potential of the combination of nuclear analysis and archaeological research is demonstrated and this publication will be of interest to researchers in pre-Columbian South American ceramics as well as scientists worldwide involved in interdisciplinary research using nuclear analytical methods applied in the field of archaeology. The project provides a template for other groups wishing to establish similar co-operations. This publication will be of interest to researchers in pre-Columbian South American ceramics as well as scientists worldwide involved in interdisciplinary research using nuclear analytical methods applied in the field of archaeology. The project provides a template for other groups wishing to establish similar co-operations.

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