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This work begins with a brief description of the goals and history of archaeological science, and the place of chemistry within it. It sets out the most widely used analytical techniques in archaeology and compares them in the light of relevant applications. It includes an analysis of several specific archaeological investigations in which chemistry has been employed in tracing the origins of or in preserving artifacts. The choice of these investigations conforms to themes based on analytical techniques, and includes chapters on obsidian, ceramics, glass, metals and resins. Finally, it suggests a future role for chemical and biochemical applications in archaeology.
The development of archaeological chemistry; analytical techniques applied to archaeology; obsidian characterization in the eastern Mediterranean; the geochemistry of clays and the provenance of ceramics; the chemistry and corrosion of archaeological glass; the chemical study of metals - the European medieval and later brass industry; the chemistry and use of resinous substances; amino acids stereochemistry and the first Americans; lead isotope geochemistry and the trade in metals; summary - whither archaeological chemistry?. Appendices: the structure of the atom and the electromagnetic spectrum; isotopes; fundamental constants; atomic number and approximate weights (based on 12C = 12.000 ) of the elements; periodic table of the elements.
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