The analysis of archaeological materials by ICP-AES

  • Michael Thompson
  • J. Nicholas Walsh


Elemental analysis has a substantial contribution to make in archaeological studies. In some cases, notably provenance studies, it provides vital information to supplement sometimes rather meagre direct archaeological evidence. In all cases elemental analysis has the great advantage of providing data that is both quantitative and, it is hoped, indisputable. Probably archaeologists have not made sufficient use of chemical analyses for the materials they study. Understandably there has been some reluctance by archaeologists to use unfamiliar chemical methods. A further, and more serious problem has been the lack of availability of good-quality data in the quantities required to tackle many archaeological problems. It is this particular problem that can be readily addressed by the use of modern ICP spectrometers.


Zinc Clay Titanium Phosphorus Silicate 


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Copyright information

© Blackie & Son Ltd 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Thompson
    • 1
  • J. Nicholas Walsh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryBirkbeck College, University of LondonUK
  2. 2.Department of GeologyRoyal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of LondonUK

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