The Application of a Completely Non-destructive High-Resolution X-ray Diffraction Technique in Cultural Heritage Science

Authors: Graeme Hansford (University of Leicester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Conference Paper
Conference: UK Archaeological Science Conference
Peer Reviewed: No

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 10145

Abstract: A novel X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique which provides high-quality phase and microstructural analyses of archaeological objects completely non-destructively and with no sample preparation at all is presented. The technique has previously been described in a low-resolution configuration [1-3], suitable for implementation in a handheld instrument format, but more recently a study was conducted at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron in a high-resolution configuration. This work was mainly focussed on the development of the technique using geological samples, but analysis of a small number of archaeological artefacts was attempted, including a sixth-century glass tessera from Sagalassos, Turkey, and a copper Roman coin. It is expected that this XRD method will have wide applicability within cultural heritage science, suitable for the analysis of pottery (including pigments and glazes), jewellery, any objects made from stone or rock, and artworks such as paintings and sculptures. The results of the study as a whole will be presented along with a discussion of the application of this technique in archaeometry. 1. Hansford, G. M. (2011). J. Appl. Cryst. 44, 514-525. 2. Hansford, G. M. (2013). Nucl. Instr. and Meth. Sect. A, 728, 102-106. 3. Hansford, G. M., Turner, S. M. R., Staab, D. & Vernon, D. (2014). J. Appl. Cryst. 47, 1708-1715.

Journal Keywords: X-ray diffraction, cultural heritage, archaeometry, archaeological artefacts, non-destructive

Subject Areas: Archaeological and Cultural Heritage, Technique Development, Physics

Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS