(Leiden University, Faculty of Archaeology, The Netherlands)
Outline: Study with non-destructive neutron-based techniques of a number of important cultural heritage objects from various European countries.
Laboratory analyses of ancient artefacts can help answer questions on ancient fabrication techniques, the distribution of objects from production areas and suggests methods for its preservation or restoration. However, most techniques commonly employed are invasive or have limiting penetrating power. The European project Ancient Charm developed non-destructive neutron-based techniques and studied a number of important cultural heritage objects from various European countries.
This paper presents the first archaeological results of this study. The application of neutron-based imaging and analysis techniques has lead to a wealth of new information. The paper will focus on early medieval jewellery from the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, two ceremonial Bronze Age swords from the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden in the Netherlands and bronze decorations from the Gates of Paradise, the doors of the Baptistery in Florence made by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Keywords: archaeometry, cultural heritage objects, neutron-based imaging