Terahertz, X-ray and neutron computed tomography of an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian sealed pottery


An Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian sealed pottery stored at the Museum of Aquitaine (Bordeaux, France) has been investigated using terahertz radiation, X-rays and neutrons. THz computed tomography revealed nondestructively the presence of content, whereas X-rays and neutrons analyzed more precisely the fabrication process and conservation of the pottery together with the nature of this content owing to higher spatial resolution and contrast. With neutron tomography, we determined the method used to seal the jar as well as the finer structure of the inner content. Neutron-induced prompt gamma spectroscopy was finally applied to measure the elemental composition of the content, which is supposed to consist of dried germinated seeds.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge François Hubert, director of the Museum of Aquitaine, and the city of Bordeaux for the authorization to perform the measurements at the museum. They also thank R. Trouette, M. Montaudon and J.B. Boutolleau from the radiotherapy centre at the Haut-Lévêque Hospital (Bordeaux) for X-ray measurements, P. Decout and T. Solaire from General Electric Healthcare for the X-ray data reconstruction. This project has been supported by the CHARISMA project (Contract 228330) and the Action Interdisciplinaire de Recherche ‘Archéométrie’ (TeraScan project, CNRS, France).

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Abraham, E., Bessou, M., Ziéglé, A. et al. Terahertz, X-ray and neutron computed tomography of an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian sealed pottery. Appl. Phys. A 117, 963–972 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00339-014-8779-3

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  • Neutron Beam
  • Prompt Gamma
  • Neutron Radiography
  • Neutron Imaging
  • Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis