Materials Characterization at the National Museum of the American Indian: (Mostly) Non-destructive Analysis
Author(s): Emily Kaplan
The use of portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF) for in-situ elemental analysis is becoming widespread in archaeology and cultural heritage studies. Archaeologists and conservators routinely use pXRF instruments in the field and many museums use them in-house for identification of pigments, metals, and inorganic pesticide residues, characterization of minerals and determination of alloy composition. The NMAI Conservation Department has been using pXRF for over fifteen years for a variety of materials and projects. Focusing on results of a long-running technical study of polychromed Inka and Colonial Andean ritual drinking vessels called qeros, I present an overview of the utility of pXRF in the museum context. Identification of the palette of mineral pigments and metal decoration and repairs used for the qeros has contributed substantially to our understanding of chronology and production. I include examples of studies carried out at NMAI of modern, historic and archaeological collections items and discuss the value and limitations of pXRF when used alone or in combination with other analytical techniques.
Cite this Record
Materials Characterization at the National Museum of the American Indian: (Mostly) Non-destructive Analysis. Emily Kaplan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443970)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22665