Archaeology & Archaeometry

Archaeological sciences have particular value when it can provide information about the age and origin of archaeological ancient materials and deposits. With use of isotopic fingerprints, one can trace ancient metals and identify different metal deposits, so that metals can be related to specific ore deposits. Also by analyzing human remains on C, N, O, S, P and Sr isotopic signatures, archaeologists can study the dietary habits of an individual or group, determine where a person grew up or where they lived in the last years of their life. In addition, absolute age determinations by, e.g. Re-Os and U-Th isotope systems provide valuable information for archaeologists.

Thermo Scientific provides you with the instrumentation to help you investigating archaeological materials. The Thermo Scientific™ Element 2™ and Element XR™ combined with a Laser Ablation system can perform in-situ multi-element analysis in various kinds of archaeological materials, such as teeth and bones. The Thermo Scientific™ Neptune Plus™ Multicollector ICPMS and Triton Plus™ TIMS are the instruments of choice to obtain high precise isotope ratio data of systems such as Fe, Cu, Zn, Sr, Re-Os, Pb and U-Th. For the analysis of stable isotope ratio of C, N and O in archaeological materials the Thermo Scientific™ Delta V™ and 253 Plus™ Gas Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers combined with the sample preparation units and interfaces, like the EA IsoLink, ConFlo IV and GasBench II are very well suited.

Key Applicatons

  • Radiometric dating of archaeological materials
  • Re-Os age dating of rocks and ores
  • Tracking human and animal migration using Sr isotope signatures in bones and teeth enamel
  • Reconstructing palaeodiet using stable isotope signatures
  • Determination of the source of archaeological materials