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Frequently asked questions

Would you like to work with us, but still have unanswered questions? Then you've come to the right place. Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here in 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.

Are there also non-destructive analysis methods?

Yes, for example with our portable laser ablation system quasi-nondestructive sampling can be performed in-house or at your site.

Does the sampling of an object necessarily have to take place in your laboratories on site?

Sampling in our institute in Mannheim is the standard. However, there is also the possibility to take a sample for chemical and/or isotopic analysis outside the laboratory, e.g. in museums, so that a transport of the objects to be examined can be avoided.

What does an analysis cost?

If you already know which material should be analyzed with which method, please send us a non-binding request via our contact form. If you are still not sure, you can use our “method finder” and then also send a non-binding request via the contact form.

How long does an analysis take?

This cannot always be determined exactly in advance. 14C analyses usually take 12 weeks. 14C rush orders can also be realized within four weeks for a surcharge. Please contact us for further information on other analysis methods.

How much material is needed for an analysis?

This depends largely on the material to be sampled and the method selected. For example, for an osmium isotope analysis at least 50 mg of metal (iron, copper, steel, etc.) chips or max. 4 mm wide strips are required. For a 14C age determination, for example, 0.5 to 1 g of bone, teeth or sediment are required. For shells or textiles, for example, 50 mg is already sufficient.

You can find all information about typical sample quantities on our website Cezapedia in the Methods section:

What kind of analyses does CEZA offer?

CEZA is a scientific research institute. On the one hand a specialized laboratory for analyses in the heritage sciences, on the other hand a service provider in the field of archaeometry and also a provider of scientific analyses for geo-, environmental- and climate research as well as for the construction-, chemical- and food industry. You can find our entire portfolio at

Which materials can be sampled?

The range of materials that can be analyzed is very large. From precious metals, teeth, bones, textiles, wood, rocks, glass, carbonates, food residues to lubricants or water, we can sample the materials with different techniques.