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Methods

Our methods, ranging from macroscopic to atomistic dimensions, are applied according to the nature of the problem or the material and the corresponding machining processes of the artefacts under investigation. Here you can find our complete portfolio of methods.

Atomic emission spectrometry

With ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry) it is possible to analyse the concentrations of trace elements in the range of mg/L to µg/L in solutions.

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Bio-based Material Testing

Methods used in archaeometry can be used to study so-called bio-based materials. The main question here is the type of the carbon source from which, for example, fuel, oil or plastic was produced – biogenic or petrochemical (from natural gas or petroleum)

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C-14 Dating

Dating by radiocarbon (14C) is a universally applicable dating method in archaeology and in environmental and geosciences.

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Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis

Nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis uses an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to determine stable 13C/12C and 15N/14N ratios. They are related to the corresponding isotope ratios of standard materials and displayed as δ13C and δ15N values, respectively.

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Copper isotope analysis

With the help of the isotopic fingerprint in the archaeological objects, questions regarding origin, production technique or authenticity can be answered.

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Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology (from Greek dendron = tree, chronos = time and logos = word or speech) is a method to date wood of unknown age.

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Determination of wood type

The wood species is determined using microscopic transmitted light analyses.

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Gamma spectrometry

Gamma spectrometry is used to measure gamma radiation.

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Laser Ablation ICP-MS

The LA-ICP-MS is a method that has been established and continuously developed in recent decades not only in archaeometry, geo- and materials science, but also in many other fields.

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Lead isotope analysis

Lead isotope analysis is a proven method for determining the origin of raw materials, especially in archaeometry.

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Lead-210 test

The so-called 210Pb test is a partial examination of the “authenticity test” of metal objects, which consists of various examination methods in order to obtain as much information as possible about the object.

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Luminescene dating

Today, the two methods of thermoluminescence (TL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) are well established and belong to the standard methods of age determination for archaeological and geoscientific research together with radiocarbon dating.

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Metallography / Materialography

The term metallography or materialography, which also includes non-metallic materials, covers all methods for analysing the microstructure and structure of a wide variety of materials.

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Neutron Activation Analysis

Neutron activation analysis allows the quantitative determination of elements in very different sample materials, some of which could only be decomposed with considerable effort (rocks, alloys), or whose destruction would be undesirable (archaeological artefacts and works of art).

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Optical microscopy

Optical microscopy is an essential component of scientific investigation methods. It provides basic information about the spatial structure of solids.

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Osmium isotope analysis

Osmium isotope analysis can be used in archaeometry to answer questions about the (raw material) origin of various materials.

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Oxygen isotope analysis

Oxygen isotope analysis determines the proportions of the stable isotopes 16O and 18O. The isotope ratio is given as a Delta (δ) value, i.e. as the deviation of the isotope ratio in the sample from that of a standard isotopic composition.

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Physical anthropology

Physical anthropology describes a research field that deals with human remains from an archaeological context – usually skeletal remains from burials or cremations, and, in rare cases even mummies.

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Platinum / osmium isotope analysis

Platinum / osmium isotope analysis is a method of radiometric age determination of very platinum-rich minerals.

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Radiography

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Rhenium / Osmium isotope analysis

Rhenium-osmium isotope analysis is a method of radiometric age determination.


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Scanning Electron Microscopy with X-ray micro analysis

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a versatile imaging technique that can be used to examine samples or entire objects for their constitution and composition

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Silver isotope analysis

With the help of the isotopic fingerprint in the archaeological objects, questions regarding origin, production technique or authenticity can be answered.

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Strontium isotope analysis

Strontium isotope analysis determines the proportions of the stable strontium isotopes 87Sr to 86Sr.

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Tin isotope analysis

The isotopic composition of tin in archaeological tin and bronze objects can be used to answer questions regarding origin, production techniques (e.g. recycling) or the connection between artefacts. The method can also be helpful for questions concerning geological and modern material.

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X-ray diffractometry (XRD)

X-ray diffraction (XRD), or X-ray diffraction, is a physical examination method that can be used to study any type of crystalline matter.

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X-ray fluorescence analysis (RFA)

X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) is a non-destructive analytical method that is particularly suitable for the determination of major and minor constituents, but also of some trace elements.

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