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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.

In terms of cultural studies, the reconstruction of the production technique or the documentation of the state of preservation of cultural artefacts is usually the primary aim of the investigation. Information such as traces of workmanship on the surface of artefacts or adhering substances can provide information on the genesis of the object or its use. Microscopic examinations, for their part, help to identify the smallest traces or provide information about specific manufacturing steps, decoration techniques, etc. based on the microstructure of the material examined. Technological analyses can also provide additional information on questions of authenticity.


In principle, a wide range of materials can be analysed, but the informative value and depth of information depend heavily on the material in question and the examination method used. The CEZA uses transmitted light, reflected light, digital and scanning electron microscopy. Radiography and hardness testing (especially for metals) complete the portfolio.

Microscopic analyses are carried out either non-destructively on the surface of objects or on samples embedded and prepared in synthetic resin. In order to analyse the microstructure of metallic or ceramic materials (materialography), sampling is always required to record the properties and states of the materials qualitatively or quantitatively.

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