X-RAY FLUORESCENCE ANALYSIS OF OBSIDIAN AND OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS
The energy-dispersive (EDXRF) x-ray fluorescence laboratory provides access to analyses of archaeological and source standard obsidian and other volcanic rocks on a per-sample basis under the direction of Steven Shackley, who has worked on various archaeological projects worldwide, particularly in the greater North American Southwest for over 30 years. This laboratory is the daughter lab of work by Shackley for the last 30 years. I would like to stress that the research is focused on analyses of archaeological obsidian from the greater American Southwest including southern California, Baja California, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and Chihuahua. I feel strongly, that while other labs can provide adequate instrumental analyses from archaeological material in this region, my lab can provide more reliable provenance assignments and archeological interpretation given our direct experience with the sources and archaeology in the field. I am frequently in the field locating, mapping, and documenting newly discovered sources of archeological obsidian and dacite.
WHAT IS XRF?
The Quant'X Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (EDXRF)
The new Thermo Scientific transportable EDXRF replaces the old Spectrace 440 and Spectrace QuanX that was used at Berkeley. EDXRF spectrometers are particularly adapted to non-destructive analyses of archaeological obsidian, and unlike the Philips WXRF used at Berkeley, the Quant'X can analyze larger samples, and can acquire elements with greater precision for non-destructive samples. And perhaps most importantly, the Quant'X is devoted to archaeological analyses.
Agazi Negash (former Post-Doc) in sample prep lab at Berkeley working on the Ethiopian obsidian samples.
To a discussion of analytical methodology
We can provide letter or comprehensive reports and strongly encourage you to consult with us during your planning stages to discuss sampling issues. We have wide experience in all spatial and temporal contexts as witnessed by the selected bibliography provided. We can provide quantitative non-destructive elemental analyses of obsidian, other volcanic rocks, secondary siliceous sediments (cherts and chalcedony), and ceramics usually within two to three weeks. Results sent through e-mail immediately after completion.
Many researchers from a variety of organizations have used the Berkeley EDXRF facilities for the analysis of archaeological materials including, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Laboratory of Archaeology, Museum of New Mexico, the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) at a variety of offices in northern Mexico, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, and a large variety of Cultural Resource Management firms, mainly in the Southwest and southern California.
Please consider our instrumental facilities for your analytical needs. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us by mail, phone, or Internet.
Elements analyzed: Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Pb, Th in parts per million (ppm). Barium is measured when necessary, or at request for $5.00 more per sample. Sample sizes down to 2 mm in smallest dimension. Call if many samples < 10 mm in smallest dimension.
Oxide analyses for SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, Fe2O3, K2O, MgO, MnO, Na2O, TiO2, available non-destructively. Accuracy is not as high-quality as destructive WXRF analysis, but certainly adequate for rock identification (i.e. is it dacite or basalt?). Best if samples > 20 mm in smallest dimension. See example in recent JAS paper on northern New Mexico dacite here.
M. Steven Shackley, Ph.D., Director
Secure mailing Address:
M. Steven Shackley
Archaeological XRF Laboratory
8100 Wyoming Blvd NE, Suite M4-158
Albuquerque, NM 87113-1946
Receives USPS, UPS, and FedEx packages
Note: These are commercial prices. The proceeds from these projects are used to fund students, and provide supplies for continuing field and lab work. Geological source samples are generally analyzed at no cost. Please call before field sampling, if possible.
With the acquisition of the new
Quant'X EDXRF, we can now offer rates based on the number of samples.
intend to continue to provide integrative and synthetic reports, particularly to
the Southwestern audience.
This is still one of the best bargains in archaeometry.
1-20 = $20.00 per sample
21-n = $18.00 per sample
Let me see the Sample Submission Form! ( PDF version)
This page maintained by Steve Shackley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Copyright © 2013 M. Steven Shackley. All rights reserved.
Revised: Tuesday, 19 November 2013
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