Nondestructive testing solutions for art and artifacts in the field, in the lab, or on the museum wall
Archaeometry, the collection of quantitative data from archaeological samples, is one of the most trusted methods in archaeological study. Thermo Scientific™ Niton™ x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers are a useful tool for nondestructive analysis of art and artifacts in a variety of research applications.
Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey
Quickly obtain geochemical data. Using trend analysis of the elemental composition of the soil, perform in-situ soil testing at suspected historic sites to identify areas such as buried architectural features, hearth areas, fire pits, and burial grounds.
Restoration and Provenance
Establish provenance. Identify components of pigments and other materials in paintings and glazes to assist in the preservation and restoration of artifacts. Paintings can be examined safely without removing them from the frame.
Authentication and Conservation
Authenticate a variety of art and artifacts. Use elemental composition data to identify how objects have been preserved in the past, and how to better conserve them for the future.
The Smithsonian Institution has used our instruments to analyze artifacts being repatriated to Native American Tribes in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Measuring the residual quantities of lead, arsenic, and mercury (used to preserve artifacts) allows for suitable precautions to be taken while handling these artifacts, and for appropriate clean-up to be performed before the items are repatriated.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Geological Survey have evaluated our XRF analyzers for providing the elemental analysis needed to glean important clues to the age of petroglyphs, alloys, and other materials.