Scientific Tools for  Probing  the Past Sven Isaksson Archaeological Research Laboratory Department of Archaeology and Cla...
<ul><li>Archaeology and Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Why a little chemistry is useful to archaeologists: </li></ul><ul><li>...
History C. 1800, first chemical analyses 1896, first physical analyses 1945   New techniques in chemistry, physics and bi...
Established in 1976  Professorship in 1986, first as an adjoining position but later as a regular chair, in  laboratory ar...
Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Archaeology Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory Classical Studies Numi...
Scientific tools are used to probe the archaeological material for more data Archaeology! Not Archaeology? Not science? Sc...
The Fate of Finds <ul><li>Excavation </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-stable equilibriums are broken,  collection, registration </li...
The nature of archaeological material
Contamination during excavation Hawaiian Tropic  (coconut oil, UV-block).
Contamination during recording Day Cream  (palm-tree oil etc)
Contamination during conservation Paraffin From  Aveling 1998
Keeping in museums Excavated aDNA mtDNA HTG10 HTG8 Late 1800-tal + - - Late 1900-tal + + + From  Götherström 2001 Ancient ...
Analytical techniques Prospecting Dating Characterization
Prospecting Site locating
Prospecting Site locating Site investigating
Prospecting Site locating Site investigating Detecting anomalies from natural background
Prospecting Site locating Site investigating Detecting anomalies from natural background Geochemical – e.g. phosphate Geop...
Nutida kyrkan Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Nutida kyrkan med tolkningen av katedralens utsträckning Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Undersökningsytorna Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 0  -0,6 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 0,2-0,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 0,5-1,1 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 0,7-1,3 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 1,0-1,6 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 1,2-1,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 1,4-2,1 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 1,7-2,3 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 1,9-2,5 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 2,1-2,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 2,4-3,0 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Reflexer på 2,6-3,2 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
Dating To fix an  event  along a time axis
Dating To fix an event along a time axis But  what  event?
Dating To fix an event along a time axis But what event? The event dated by an analytical technique is not always the same...
Dating
Dating Method Material Range (yrs) Sample size Chronological Find combination artefacts 10 6 - Dendrochronology wood 10 4 ...
Characterization Provenance Biological origin Technology Man Living conditions and Climate
Provenance Heterogeneity of the Earths crust Materials collected from a certain deposit may have a specific composition Mi...
Provenance Flint Provenance of 70 % of flint axes identified by trace elements alone Together with archaeological data, e....
Provenance Garnets
Biological origin Stigmasterol Cholesterol Squalene
Biological origin Chemical analyses of: Fats/Oils Waxes Pitches Tars Leather Textile Food Morphological analyses: Seeds Le...
Technology Deposit or Inlay?
Technology Deposit or Inlay?
(Stjerna 1997) Technology Just because its green doesn't mean its bronze
Technology Symbols or Cymbals: the Fröslunda shields From a sulfide ore  - late Bronze Age Hammered and annealed – not sui...
Man Diet C- and N-isotopes,  trace elements Breast-feeding N-isotopes Sex determination Osteology, aDNA Kinship aDNA Migra...
Living conditions and climate Disease Osteology, aDNA Climate O-isotopes Vegetation, regional Pollen analysis Vegetation, ...
<ul><li>aDNA laboratory  for extraction and PCR, post-PCR laboratory in separate building </li></ul><ul><li>Atomic Absorpt...
<ul><li>Slingram ,  Ground-Penetrating Radar  and  Magnetometer  for archaeological prospecting </li></ul><ul><li>Spectrop...
Research programs <ul><li>Svealand in the Vendel and Viking Period (finished) </li></ul><ul><li>Forts and Fortifications i...
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Microscopes And Sample Preparation Equipment For Analyses Of Textiles

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Microscopes And Sample Preparation Equipment For Analyses Of Textiles

  1. 1. Scientific Tools for Probing the Past Sven Isaksson Archaeological Research Laboratory Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Stockholm University
  2. 2. <ul><li>Archaeology and Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Why a little chemistry is useful to archaeologists: </li></ul><ul><li>The archaeological sources are material remains – chemistry is the study of matter and its change </li></ul><ul><li>Material remains are affected by the ravages of time – what is left and how it is preserved </li></ul><ul><li>Man has always made use of matter and changed it; Man – the Chemist </li></ul>
  3. 3. History C. 1800, first chemical analyses 1896, first physical analyses 1945  New techniques in chemistry, physics and biology 1949, 14 C-dating 1970  Increased application in archaeology 1985  Break-through in organic analyses
  4. 4. Established in 1976 Professorship in 1986, first as an adjoining position but later as a regular chair, in laboratory archaeology (swe: laborativ arkeologi) Since 2005 part of the newly created Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Archaeological Research Laboratory
  5. 5. Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Archaeology Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory Classical Studies Numismatic Research Group Archaeological Research Laboratory
  6. 6. Scientific tools are used to probe the archaeological material for more data Archaeology! Not Archaeology? Not science? Science!
  7. 7. The Fate of Finds <ul><li>Excavation </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-stable equilibriums are broken, collection, registration </li></ul><ul><li>Recording </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning, visual characterization </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Halt decomposition, extract information </li></ul><ul><li>-excavation on microscopic level </li></ul><ul><li>Storage </li></ul><ul><li>Keep, preserve, display </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific analyses? </li></ul><ul><li>Excavations on molecular or atomic level </li></ul>
  8. 8. The nature of archaeological material
  9. 9. Contamination during excavation Hawaiian Tropic (coconut oil, UV-block).
  10. 10. Contamination during recording Day Cream (palm-tree oil etc)
  11. 11. Contamination during conservation Paraffin From Aveling 1998
  12. 12. Keeping in museums Excavated aDNA mtDNA HTG10 HTG8 Late 1800-tal + - - Late 1900-tal + + + From Götherström 2001 Ancient horse DNA from Birka Alkanoic acids in Norwegian organic residues Is organic residues better off in the ground than in the museum?!
  13. 13. Analytical techniques Prospecting Dating Characterization
  14. 14. Prospecting Site locating
  15. 15. Prospecting Site locating Site investigating
  16. 16. Prospecting Site locating Site investigating Detecting anomalies from natural background
  17. 17. Prospecting Site locating Site investigating Detecting anomalies from natural background Geochemical – e.g. phosphate Geophysical – e.g. slingram, magnetometer and ground penetrating radar
  18. 18. Nutida kyrkan Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  19. 19. Nutida kyrkan med tolkningen av katedralens utsträckning Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  20. 20. Undersökningsytorna Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  21. 21. Reflexer på 0 -0,6 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  22. 22. Reflexer på 0,2-0,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  23. 23. Reflexer på 0,5-1,1 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  24. 24. Reflexer på 0,7-1,3 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  25. 25. Reflexer på 1,0-1,6 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  26. 26. Reflexer på 1,2-1,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  27. 27. Reflexer på 1,4-2,1 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  28. 28. Reflexer på 1,7-2,3 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  29. 29. Reflexer på 1,9-2,5 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  30. 30. Reflexer på 2,1-2,8 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  31. 31. Reflexer på 2,4-3,0 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  32. 32. Reflexer på 2,6-3,2 m djup Modellering efter georadar-prospektering Gamla Uppsala kyrka
  33. 33. Dating To fix an event along a time axis
  34. 34. Dating To fix an event along a time axis But what event?
  35. 35. Dating To fix an event along a time axis But what event? The event dated by an analytical technique is not always the same as the archaeological event…
  36. 36. Dating
  37. 37. Dating Method Material Range (yrs) Sample size Chronological Find combination artefacts 10 6 - Dendrochronology wood 10 4 100 treerings Magnetic TRM burnt clay 10 4 , or longer cm DRM sediment Radiation damage Fission tracks glass, mineral 10 2 …10 7 mm TL ceramic, br. stone 10 2 …10 5 mg…g OSL sediment 10 6 mg…g ESR enamel 10 3 …10 6 mg…g Radioactive decay Conventional 14 C organic 50 000 10 g Accelerator 14 C organic 70 000 mg K/Ar mineral 10 5 …10 9 g Physical phenomenon Hydration obsidian, glass mm Chemical reactions Racemisation bone, hair 10 2 …10 6 g Biological growth Lichenometry lichens
  38. 38. Characterization Provenance Biological origin Technology Man Living conditions and Climate
  39. 39. Provenance Heterogeneity of the Earths crust Materials collected from a certain deposit may have a specific composition Mineral (stone, clay), metal, slag, glass
  40. 40. Provenance Flint Provenance of 70 % of flint axes identified by trace elements alone Together with archaeological data, e.g. context and date, 95 % identified
  41. 41. Provenance Garnets
  42. 42. Biological origin Stigmasterol Cholesterol Squalene
  43. 43. Biological origin Chemical analyses of: Fats/Oils Waxes Pitches Tars Leather Textile Food Morphological analyses: Seeds Leather Fur Textile Bone Short-chain fatty acids Long-chain fatty acids and MAG Long-chain ketones and DAG Sterols Triacylglycerols (TAG) IR-spectra of organic residues Gas chromatogram of lipid residues Scanning Electron Micrographs of cells from barley and pea in prehistoric food residue
  44. 44. Technology Deposit or Inlay?
  45. 45. Technology Deposit or Inlay?
  46. 46. (Stjerna 1997) Technology Just because its green doesn't mean its bronze
  47. 47. Technology Symbols or Cymbals: the Fröslunda shields From a sulfide ore - late Bronze Age Hammered and annealed – not suitable as cymbals Flattening of slag inclusions – hammered from a piece 15 cm in diameter
  48. 48. Man Diet C- and N-isotopes, trace elements Breast-feeding N-isotopes Sex determination Osteology, aDNA Kinship aDNA Migration aDNA, S- and O- isotopes, trace elements
  49. 49. Living conditions and climate Disease Osteology, aDNA Climate O-isotopes Vegetation, regional Pollen analysis Vegetation, local Plant macro fossils, organic geochemistry
  50. 50. <ul><li>aDNA laboratory for extraction and PCR, post-PCR laboratory in separate building </li></ul><ul><li>Atomic Absorption Spectrophoto-meter for trace metal element analyses of soil, bone and artefacts </li></ul><ul><li>Field-archaeology equipment , incl. sampling probes, field spectrophotometer, metal detector, GPS, total station, photo-tower for analogue or digital cameras </li></ul><ul><li>Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry for analyses of organic residues and pigments </li></ul>Facilities <ul><li>Freezer-room for the storage of very large samples, e.g. whole graves </li></ul><ul><li>Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry for organic residue analyses </li></ul><ul><li>GIS computer systems for spatial analyses </li></ul><ul><li>Mass Spectrometry for isotope (C, N, S, O) analyses primarily of bone collagen </li></ul><ul><li>Microscopes and sample preparation equipment for analyses of archaeo-botanical materials, textiles, etc </li></ul>
  51. 51. <ul><li>Slingram , Ground-Penetrating Radar and Magnetometer for archaeological prospecting </li></ul><ul><li>Spectrophotometers for wet-chemical analyses (e.g. phosphates) </li></ul><ul><li>Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry for microstructure and elemental analyses </li></ul><ul><li>X-Ray Diffraction for the analysis of minerals, bones and pigments </li></ul>Facilities <ul><li>Microscopes and sample preparation equipment for microstructure analyses of metals and ceramics </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave Accelerated Reaction System for rapid sample preparation, i.e. extracting, digesting, dissolving, hydrolysing or drying organic or inorganic materials </li></ul><ul><li>Optical 3D-scanner for both high-resolution surface analyses of artefacts and for large-scale 3D documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation and conservation laboratory primarily for metal artefacts </li></ul>
  52. 52. Research programs <ul><li>Svealand in the Vendel and Viking Period (finished) </li></ul><ul><li>Forts and Fortifications in the Mälaren Region AD 400-1100 (finished) </li></ul><ul><li>Us and Them – Cultural identity in the Middle Neolithic </li></ul><ul><li>Bread for the dead, bread for the living… Cereal-based food in the Late Iron Age </li></ul><ul><li>By House and Hearth – The chemistry of culture layers as a document of the subsistence of prehistoric man </li></ul><ul><li>Tracing Ancient Vegetable Food – Chemotaxonomy of plant lipid residues </li></ul><ul><li>Gender and Diet in the Neolithic </li></ul>
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