Ένα νέο εργαστήριο αρχαιομετρίας στη Θράκη : έρευνες στον αρχαιολογικό χώρο ΑβδήρωνPart of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.14, No.1, 2000, pages 9-24
A new archaeometry laboratory in Thrace : investigations on the archaeological site at Abdera
The Institute for Cultural and Educational Technology (IPET) was established in Xanthi in 1998 under the aegis of the General Secretariat of Research and Technology (a department of the Ministry of Development), for the purpose of supporting research- and technology-related activities and implementing new technologies in the humanities, in culture, and in education. In the framework of these interests, the IPET established the Archaeometry Laboratory, the purpose of which is to function as a centre for technology and research fostering scientific research in the field of archaeometry, supporting archaeological investigations, and meeting the needs of interested institutions with specialised facilities, equipment, and trained personnel. More specifically, the purpose of the Laboratory is to use mainly physicochemical methods to extract information from archaeological finds, monuments, works of art, and materials, and thus to contribute to fuller knowledge and profounder understanding of the development of culture.The Laboratory has a considerable scientific, material, and technical infrastructure of advanced technology and enjoys the direct support of the other departments/units of the IPET. It can also considerably expand its potential by working closely with the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUT) and other related laboratories in the Demokritos University of Thrace (DUT). The available laboratory equipment includes: a fully equipped Thermoluminescence (TL) Laboratory, an Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Laboratory with state-of-the-art systems, a stereoscope with a system for studying and analysing surfaces, equipment for producing and preparing samples with up-to-date laboratory ovens, and microwave digestion appliances. The existing equipment is shortly to be supplemented with an autonomous closed system of radiographic x-ray imaging and a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) system.At this stage, special emphasis is being placed on the study of ceramics and glass. The available possibilities include: i) dating ceramic and pyritic materials by TL and and OSL;ii) stoicheiometric analysis of materials by chemical means (in association with the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of the AUT), and, very soon, by non-destructive radiometric techniques;iii) comparative study of the composition, and investigation of the nature, of the materials used; and iv) stereomicroscopic examination. The dating methods may also be used to check and confirm the authenticity of ceramic objects in museum and other collections. All the processes follow GLP and ISO models to ensure that the services and the results provided are of the highest possible standard. One of the Laboratory’s principal activities relates to the investigations being carried out on the archaeological site at Abdera in association with the 19th Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and with Professor Ioannis Stratis and his colleagues in the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of the AUT, in order to determine the age of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery, the provenance and the content of pottery from the 7th century BC to the Hellenistic period, and the composition of the mortar of cist-graves of the 3rd century BC and the potential interaction of its constituents with the grave goods.For this purpose, samples of pottery and mortar are collected, and, after undergoing digital recording, dating (when necessary), stereoscopic observation, and chemical analysis, are categorised by form, chemical composition, and the quality of their protogenic minerals. In this way a multimedia data base (of images and written notes) will be built up, which can be supplemented with other, pre-existing data, so that it will be possible to conduct comparative studies, determine the provenance of the finds, and draw conclusions about the technology of the period and the social customs and dietary habits of the Abderites. The results will be especially useful for a fuller drawing and understanding of the archaeological map of the area.