Techniques of Scientific Analysis
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Techniques of Scientific Analysis book
Early analytical work of archaeological materials began in Renaissance Italy and by the eighteenth century, King George Ill's assay master, Mr Alchorn, analysed Irish Bronze Age swords. Martin Klaproth, a famous chemist, published chemical analyses of Roman glass and bronze mirrors (Klaproth 1798). Other eminent scientists, such as Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) were also involved in early analytical work on archaeological materials. Davy chemically analysed 'Egyptian blue' and an opaque red vitreous material labelled red enamel. However, even into the early 1970s there was concern over the level of accuracy achieved and that inadequate sampling procedures had been used (Organ 1971). There can be no doubt that those involved in archaeological science research have now addressed these concerns in detail, even though the level achieved and the degree of integration between science and archaeology is apparently unacceptable for some (Dunnell 1993).