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PA3L

which is currently funded by the Idaho Accelerator Center and grants in Anthropology. With the increasing importance of non-destructive testing, and especially in museum curation and in the study of the material remains of indigenous peoples, new, completely non-destructive techniques are needed and required. Further, nearly all other techniques analyze a very small sample which, in heterogeneous materials, is often not representative of the artifacts as a whole. The Idaho Accelerator Center provides the opportunity to solve both of these problems. Thirty years ago, the Germans began experiments with linear accelerators for the non-destructive analysis of archaeological materials. Photon Activation Analysis (PAA) never became widely used, and never in the US, because these accelerators were not common and because Neutron Activation Analysis was already entrenched in the field. As more and more reactors around the world are decommissioned, the importance of PAA is increasing because the technique is completely non-destructive and materials are not left radioactive for more than a few days to weeks. Thus, the growing interdisciplinary research between the IAC and the archaeology section of the Anthropology Department is positioned to create an entirely new genre of archaeometric research in the US, and at this time, the only archaeometry PAA lab in the world.

 

Last Modified: 08/21/08 at 12:09:36 PM