Accurate Measurements of Low Z Elements in Sediments and Archaeological Ceramics Using Portable X-ray Fluorescence (PXRF)
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- Johnson, J. J Archaeol Method Theory (2014) 21: 563. doi:10.1007/s10816-012-9162-3
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This study seeks to demonstrate the ability of portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) to estimate concentrations of K, Ca, and Fe in sediments and archaeological ceramics under controlled conditions. After a discussion of the potential confounding factors in PXRF use, a protocol which attempts to address these issues through repeated measurement, calibration, and re-sampling is detailed. Data generated using this protocol are then tested for accuracy and repeatability. PXRF is argued to be able to produce accurate estimates of K provided the suggested protocol is used, and able to produce repeatable estimates of K and Ca under these same conditions. Other experimental conditions tested failed to produce accurate and repeatable results. Fe results are found to be problematic given the calibration standards used here.