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Achieving High Spatial Resolution in Elemental Mapping of Metal Samples from Archaeological Contexts

  • Scott Lea (a1), Don Baer (a1), Ernesto Paparazzo (a2), Peter Northover (a3) and Chris Salter...

Abstract

Improving the characterisation of archaeological artifacts brings a need to understand better the relationships between composition, structure and properties. With archaeological material there is also a requirement to consider the effects of ageing and environmental interactions in altering the original structure and composition, both in the bulk and at the surface. However, curatorial constraints and, frequently, the condition of the objects preclude the sampling methods required for the most powerful means of structural analysis of materials, the high resolution transmission electron microscope. The samples normally available are small bulk samples and we must find other means of maximising spatial resolution in microchemical and microstructural analysis of both bulk and surface regions of the samples. This paper describes ways in which this is being achieved using the scanning proton microprobe (SPM) with both particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford back scattered proton (RBS) spectra at resolutions down to ca. 1:m, electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) at 250-300nm, and scanning Auger microscopy (SAM) at resolutions of 10-20nm, but only from the surface layers of atoms in a sample. Examples will be given which demonstrate the contribution that each instrument can make, and that new and useful information is obtained each time resolution is increased. They will also show that structural features can be identified which are invisible to other microscopies. It will also be shown how modern PC-based software has greatly enhanced the mapping capability of all instruments.

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[1] Northover, J.P., Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, 19, 1982/3, 4572
[2] Handwerker, C.A., Lechtman, H.N., Marinenko, R.B., Bright, D.S. & Newbury, D.E., in Materials issues in art and archaeology II, edited by Vandiver, P.B., Druzik, J. & Wheeler, G.S., (Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 185, Pittsburgh, PA, 1991), 649664
[3] Northover, J.P. and Gillies, C.: in Metals in Antiquity, edited by Young, S.M.M., Pollard, A.M.. Budd, P. and Ixer, R.A., Metals in Antiquity, (BAR Int. Series 792, Oxford, 1999), 7885
[4] Jarjis, R., Northover, J.P. & Finch, I, in Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology IV, edited by Vandiver, P., Druzik, J., Freestone, I.C., Madrid, J. L. Galvan, (Mater. Res. Soc. Proc., Pittsburgh PA), 143152
[5] Paparazzo, E., in Handbook of Surface and Interface Analysis, edited by Riviere, J.C. and Myhra, S. (Marcel Dekker, New York, 1998), 835
[6] Robbiola, L., Blengino, J.-M. and Fiaud, C., Corrosion Science, 40(12), 1998, 20832111
[7] Paparazzo, E., Lea, A.S., Baer, D.R. and Northover, J.P., J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A. 19(4), 2001, 18

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Achieving High Spatial Resolution in Elemental Mapping of Metal Samples from Archaeological Contexts

  • Scott Lea (a1), Don Baer (a1), Ernesto Paparazzo (a2), Peter Northover (a3) and Chris Salter...

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