Archaeological Chemistry

  • T. Douglas Price
  • James H. Burton


A book on archaeological chemistry must cover a lot of ground. Both subjects, archaeology and chemistry, are large, rich, and dense. At the same time the two are very different. Archaeology belongs to the humanities or social sciences; some would call it an historical science. Archaeology is usually associated with the outdoors, ruins, excavations, piles of dirt, and artifacts of stone, ceramic, or metal. Chemistry, on the other hand, happens indoors, in the laboratory. It’s a hard science – the textbooks are weighty, the formulas are complex, the chemical terms endless. Chemistry is associated with beakers and acids, Bunsen burners, strange smells, and lab coats. How can two such different fields fit together?


American Chemical Society Archaeological Site Electromagnetic Spectrum Archaeological Material Fluorine Absorption 
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Suggested Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Archaeological ChemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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