Gallo-Roman white clay figurine analysis for provenance characterization
More than one thousand samples were collected from both figurines and moulds provided by a number of French museums. Several characterization methods were used in order to determine the origin of these objects. Microdilatometry and X-ray radiography methods give some information on the fabrication techniques, but only multielemental analytical methods allow the determination of the clay origin after mathematical data processing of the results. The advantages and drawbacks of these methods are discussed. The results obtained by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, proton induced X-ray or gamma emissions, and neutron activation analysis are often complementary. Neutron activation analysis, allowing the simultaneous determination of more than twenty elements at very low concentrations, is the most convenient and efficient method.
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