2022-07-01 17:12


Conference: Bucharest University Faculty of Physics 2019 Meeting

Section: Nuclear and Elementary Particles Physics

The study of archaeological objects using X-ray Computed Tomography

Marta PETRUNEAC (1,2), Anca Diana POPESCU (3), Adina BORONEANT (3), Florin CONSTANTIN (1)

1) “Department of Applied Nuclear Physics, National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering “Horia Hulubei”, Reactorului 30, RO-077125, POB-MG6, Magurele-Bucharest, Romania, EU

2)Facultatea de Fizica, Universitatea din București, Strada Atomiștilor 405, Măgurele 077125

3)INSTITUTUL DE ARHEOLOGIE “VASILE PÂRVAN”, Str. Henri Coandă nr. 11 , Bucuresti


computer tomography, archaeology, pottery

Computed tomography is an imaging technique increasingly used in recent years to study archaeological objects. It combines outstanding advances in two areas, X-ray imaging and computational techniques. Basically, the technique is based on targeting an X-ray beam to the subject and measuring the effects of multiple orientations. The function of interest in X-ray tomography is the absorption coefficient, i.e. the tendency of a material to absorb X rays. The distribution of these coefficients is transformed by means of a specialized algorithm into a 3D image of an object, thus providing the opportunity to visualize the inside of the objects in a non-destructive manner. Our investigations focused on a significant set of prehistoric objects made of clay (whole vessels and vessels fragments, anthropomorphic statuettes) and metal (copper, bronze, iron, silver, but also bimetallic - copper / bronze and iron). The Nikon XT H 225 computerized tomography system was used. Provided with a powerful micro-focus X-ray source and a high-resolution flat panel detector, this equipment provides a high speed image acquisition at high quality. With the powerful software VGStudio MAX 3.0, the data collected by the CT is then analyzed and processed. In the case of ceramics, the thickness of the vessel walls could be determined when their interior was not accessible (either the vessels were long and narrow or containing soil or other materials), observations were made on the structure of the paste, especially on the particle density of the paste, cracks, orientation of the voids left by the organic matter, and even the way of joining different segments of clay. Good results have also been obtained as a result of the examination of the metal objects, the identification of the shape of the corroded pieces, the cracks and the casting defects.