Archaeometry, Archaeological Science with XRF

(Click here for to receive additional information and expert advice on the use of handheld XRF analyzers for archaeometric and archaeological science purposes.)

Archaeometry—also known as archaeological science—is the application of scientific methods and techniques to archeological investigation. The field of archaeometry has been quickly expanding and adopting new methodology over the last several decades, as the sophistication and availability of technology and instrumentation grow, while the cost of scientific analysis has been slowly but surely dropping. Many scientific instruments that produce data such as molecular or elemental composition, chromatography, carbon dating, etc. have become smaller, more portable, faster, and have a lower cost per sample.

As technology continues to improve in price, user-friendliness, and data reliability, archeological science will continue to expand and stands to significantly supplement already existing and traditional methods in archaeological investigation. One important and widely used archaeometric technique is handheld XRF (x-ray fluorescence), an elemental analysis technique that quickly and easily provides data regarding the elemental composition of an archaeological sample from magnesium (Mg) to uranium (U).



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Handheld XRF for Archeological Investigation: The Purpose-Built TRACER 5 XRF Analyzers

Handheld XRF can now be found in universities and archeological research institutions—as well as in the field—in every part of the world, providing researchers with information from soil composition at an excavation site to no-longer-visible pigment composition on ceramics. Bruker's TRACER 5 family of XRF analyzers is the de facto standard for XRF as applied archeological science with a presence in over 500 universities worldwide. Bruker workshops prepare hundreds of scientists, archeologists, and conservators annually to properly collect, interpret, and use XRF data, you can count on being able to compare data sets with colleagues when using the Tracer.
While new archaeometric XRF applications are developed constantly, here are just a few of the applications in which the Tracer handheld XRF instrument is being used for 100% non-destructive elemental analysis all over the world:

Click here to contact a Bruker expert in XRF for archeological science, or click here to learn more about Bruker’s workshops for the XRF analysis of non-uniform materials, archeological samples, and objets d’art.