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Research laboratory CEZA

The Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH is a nationally and internationally active research institute and service provider for high-tech analysis in modern science


We offer you a comprehensive range of methods, supported by our competent team and state-of-the-art technology, from authenticity testing, material analysis and origin localisation to 14C dating.


Material analyses

Material analysis is used to characterise the chemical composition and structure of metals, glass, rocks, ores, slags and ceramics. It can be used not only in archaeometry, but also in other areas such as industry, forensics and other fields.

Isotope analyses

The determination of isotope compositions, in particular the combination of different isotope systems, has a wide range of applications in the fields of archaeology, geosciences and biosciences. At the CEZA, they are mainly used for archaeometallurgical, geological and bioarchaeological questions.

Technological investigations

The aim of technological investigations in archaeometry is primarily the characterisation of materials and objects on a macroscopic and microscopic level. However, such analyses are also used in other areas.

Authenticity tests

Element and trace element determinations are used for authenticity tests on various metals and their alloys.


Direct age determination of objects is a cornerstone of archaeological research, but also offers fields of application in the geosciences, biosciences and environmental sciences, as well as climate and solar research.

Determination of biogenic/renewable carbon

Analyses for the determination of fossil or biogenic/renewable carbon in different raw materials or products are carried out at CEZA according to the standard test methods ASTM-D6866 or EN-16640.


Bioarchaeological investigations at the CEZA include anthropological studies as well as further analyses, especially of human and animal skeletal remains, to determine dietary habits and mobility.

Scientific support

Our scientists will be happy to advise and support you in the planning, implementation, evaluation and publication of studies carried out in co-operation with you.

Our projects

Whether working on their own projects or participating in major international projects, our scientists invest their expertise in every project and work with professional passion.

Expansion of the Laboratory for Dendrochronology at CEZA into an international research archive

Runtime: 01.01.2023 – 31.12.2025

Klaus Tschira Foundation supports expansion of the Laboratory for Dendrochronology at CEZA into an international research archive

Read more


14C dating, Isotope analysis


Runtime: 01.01.2020 – 31.12.2025

Integrating genetic, archaeological and historical perspectives on Eastern Central Europe, 400-900 AD

Read more

Bronze Age blades from the “Sögel-Wohlde-District”

Runtime: 01.02.2022 – 31.01.2025

The blades of the so-called Sögel-Wohlde-Kreis are regarded as the earliest sword forms (or long dagger forms) of the Nordic Bronze Age.

Read more

Metallography/Materialography, Isotope analysis


New projects, current publications, change of employees or additions and expansions to our infrastructure can be found here.

Localisation of lithium deposits using multi-parameter approaches

Lithium (Li) has been classified by the European Union as a strategically critical raw material since 2023 under the Critical Raw Materials Act, which means that by 2030 at least 10% of these raw materials should be mined in the EU and no more than 65% should be dependent on a third country.

Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka
Dr. Andreas Wittke
Dr. Michael Brauns

On the trail of the tin mystery of the Bronze Age

Mannheim scientists succeed in making a spectacular breakthrough with multi-parameter approach.

Dr. Daniel Berger
Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka

Who will solve the puzzle of Bronze Age tin?

The origin of tin ingots from ancient Mediterranean shipwreck disputed – The metal may have come from Cornwall.

Dr. Daniel Berger
Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka

¹⁴C is the solution

Radiocarbon (14C) dating is a universally applicable dating method in archaeology as well as in geosciences, biosciences or environmental sciences, as well as in climate and solar research. Especially for organic materials, 14C dating is a universal and precise method for age determination.

Dr. Ronny Friedrich

Work with us!

You would like to send in a sample, have already worked with us and know the procedures? Then you will find the forms you need here.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions about our services? If you would like to know how we work, what we process, how you need to pack samples to send them to us or how long the processing time is, you will find the first answers here.

You will find further important questions and answers at our help section.

The result raises questions for me, will you support me in answering them?

Our scientists support you at every point of their research. In contrast to almost all other research institutes, our claim is not “only” to provide you with results, but also to advise you and support you in interpreting them. So do not hesitate to contact us.

In what form will I receive the results?

You will receive a results protocol by e-mail in which you will find your measurement results. In this protocol it is explained with which method under which conditions the analyses were carried out.

Can I see the current processing status of my ordered analysis?

Many of our analyzers are in 24-hour operation. Incoming samples are recorded internally and processed in the order in which they are received. In advance, you will receive a rough indication of how long the sampling will take. Unless we deviate from this indication, you can be sure to receive your result in the expected time. If there are any delays, we will inform you proactively in any case. We kindly ask you to refrain from regularly calling or emailing us for interim status. We are currently working on an online tracking system that will show you receipt, processing and completion of your samples in order to improve our service to you.

How can the samples be packed and sent in?

Each sample should be packed separately in resealable, labeled sample containers to avoid mixing during transport. Large samples can be packed directly in a resealable plastic bag, for example. For small and delicate samples, plastic reaction vessels or rolled rim vials are suitable. The sample can then be placed in a resealable, labeled plastic bag. For even smaller samples, such as pollen, glass vials with screw caps or microcentrifuge tubes are suitable for shipping the samples. Also, the sample can be placed in a labeled plastic bag afterwards.


Please always pack your samples as a package or a sturdy padded envelope, do not send unpadded envelopes as there is a risk of damaging your sample in transit. When you have packed everything properly and safely, send the package to CEZA gGmbH at D 6, 3 – which is the street where our institute is located – in 68159 Mannheim.