Archeometry - analysis of objects of movable cultural heritage

The methods of proton-induced X-rays and gamma rays (PIXE and PIGE) are used for systematic studies of the archeological artifacts and objects of art. The measurements are executed at the Tandetron accelerator, using proton beam in the air, so the analysis is generally done without sampling. The research work is performed in collaboration with the National Museum of Slovenia and National Gallery of Slovenia, as well as with other institutions that keep objects of cultural heritage. The aim of measurements is to determine the composition of particular objects, and from comparison with other objects it is possible to find out the methods of production, the origins of raw materials and the historical circumstances when the objects were made. The investigations of the last few years involve extensive measurements of medieval glass, Roman objects, numismatics and pigments of oil paintings. For glass objects we determined the types of flux used for production of the glass in the Venetian manner. The metal analysis showed the types of materials used for manufacturing of the Roman military equipment, and the investigations of oil pigments revealed the types of pigments used through different historical periods: from baroque till the age of Slovenian impressionists. Beside the longer systematic investigations we also contribute to the current archaeological and art-historical research, as our analyses complement the general knowledge about particular objects.

secession vase measured with PIXE on external beam
Measurement of secession vase with external beam PIXE method.

bronze vase - situla    pigment analysis
Left: Analysis of bronze vase called situla.
Right: Analysis of pigment's chemical composition.


Contact person:

Dr. Žiga Šmit
David Jezeršek

Last updated: 01/22/2014