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External Standards for the LA-ICP-MS analysis of North American copper artifacts: looking at different approaches

Author(s): Laure Dussubieux ; Mark Hill ; Gregory Lattanzi

Year: 2017

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Ideally, data produced by different laboratories performing the same type of analysis should be comparable. Comparability is important for exchanging data and the building of large databases in particular areas of research. Recently, the sourcing of North American copper using laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has developed significantly, prompting questions about the compatibility of the different published data sets.

Several parameters affect the compositions obtained with LA-ICP-MS. The selection of external standards is used with LA-ICP-MS to convert the raw counts for each element in concentrations expressed in ppm or w%. Ideally external standards have a composition as close as possible to that of the analyzed object. Available standard reference materials are purer than archaeological artifacts and a combination of several of them is often selected to be able to quantify all the elements of interest. LA-ICP-MS laboratories use different sets of standard reference materials based on their experience, budget, and availability.

This paper will compare three sets of copper standard reference materials that are used routinely to measure the composition of North American copper artifacts. It will assess how they affect the concentration measurements in those samples.

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External Standards for the LA-ICP-MS analysis of North American copper artifacts: looking at different approaches. Laure Dussubieux, Mark Hill, Gregory Lattanzi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431773)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14884

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America