As I had mentioned previously, today we had the full day workshop on the Handheld XRF spectrometer (hXRF).
The workshop was given by Mr. Lee Drake, representative of the Bruker company, the manufacturer of the hXRF which we will receive in a few weeks.
A nice group of Safi staff members participated, along with some invitees – various archaeological colleagues – and even a couple of forensic experts from the Israel Police (who actually were quite impressed with the analytic work we are conducting in the lab!).
After giving us a very nice theoretical background on the physics of the XRF, Lee then demonstrated how to use the instrument and analyze different types of materials.
This is SO COOL! It give such fantastic results – and if you know what to do with analyzing and understanding the results (and not simply blindly relating to the “numbers”) you can get fantastic insights on many issues.
Once we start using both the hXRF and the FTIR (which we have already for awhile now), we will have, both in the field and in the lab, an astounding analytic capability at both the atomic (hXRF) and molecular (FTIR) levels. In fact, I don’t know of any excavation project in the world which has access, on a regular basis, to both instruments!
Here’s a picture of a demonstration on how to measure the chemical composition of the painted decoration on a decorated Iron IIA chalice.
This was really quite astounding!