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Institute of Archaeology

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Laura Arcidiacono

Laura Arcidiacono

Development of a non-invasive neutron technique for the analysis of trace elements in gold objects from pre-Columbian period in South America

 



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Supervisors:

  • Marcos Martinon-Torres
  • Ian Freestone
  • Carla Andreani, Universita' di Roma Tor Vergata, physics department
  • Giulia Festa, Centro Fermi-Museo storico della fisica e centro studi e ricerche "Enrico Fermi"
Profile

Development of a non-invasive neutron technique for the analysis of trace elements in gold objects from pre-Columbian period in South America

The ability of neutrons to penetrate thick layers of materials, without substantial attenuation, makes them an ideal probe to study the elemental and phase composition of bulk materials, in a totally non-destructive and non-invasive manner. Neutron techniques are increasingly being used for quantitative, non-invasive analyses in the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage and applied to a large variety of objects and materials including metals, ceramics, bones and other materials. The potential of neutron-based techniques for the sourcing of archaeological gold alloys, however, has not been explored systematically. Laura will develop a novel neutron technique for performing Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis in time of flight in order to chemically characterise and assess the provenance of metal artefacts. Determining the origins of the metal employed by different cultures is a fundamental foundation to make inferences about the relationships between different communities and their natural environment, as well as to reconstruct trade and interactions among human groups.

Funding

EPSRC scholarship, Centro Fermi-Museo storico della fisica e centro studi e ricerche "Enrico Fermi"

Education

    • BA, Physics, Universita' degli studi Roma Tre, 2013
    • MA, Physics, Universita' degli studi Roma Tor Vergata, 2016
    • MRes, SEAHA-Science and engineering of art heritage and archaeology, UCL, 2017
    Publications
    • G. Festa, T. Minniti, L. Arcidiacono, M. Borla, D. Di Martino, F. Facchetti, E. Ferraris, V. Turina, W. Kockelmann, J. Kelleher, R. Senesi, C. Greco, C. Andreani, "Egyptian grave goods of Kha and Merit studied by neutron and gamma techniques", Angewandte Chemie communication, accepted Feb 2018
    • Kun V. Tian, Giulia Festa, László Szentmiklósi, Boglárka Maróti, Laura Arcidiacono, Giuseppina Laganà, Carla Andreani, Silvia Licoccia, Roberto Senesi, Paola Cozza, "Compositional studies of functional orthodontic archwires using prompt-gamma activation analysis at a pulsed neutron source vs. a cold neutron source", Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, May 2017
    • C. Andreani, F. Aliotta, L. Arcidiacono, M. Borla, E. P. Cippo, D. Di Martino, F. Facchetti, E. Ferraris, G. Festa, G. Gorini, W. Kockelmann, J. Kelleher, D. Malfitana, D. Micieli, T. Minniti, V. Mollica Nardo, R. Ponterio, G. Salvato, R. Senesi, V. Turina, C. Vasi and C. Greco, "A neutron study of sealed pottery from the gravegoods of Kha and Merit", Jurnal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, May 2017
    • Matthew Krzystyniak, Giovanni Romanelli, Margit Fabian, Matthias Gutmann, Giulia Festa, Laura Arcidiacono, Martyn Gigg, Kacper Dru_zbicki, Carla Andreani, Roberto Senesi, and Felix Fernandez-Alonso, "VESUVIO+: A Testbed for a Next-Generation Epithermal Neutron Spectrometer", ICANS proceedings IOP, October 2017
    • G. Festa, C. Andreani, L. Arcidiacono, G. Burca, W. Kockelmann, T. Minniti, R. Senesi, "Characterisation of gamma-ray background at IMAT beamline of ISIS Spallation Neutron Source", Measurement Science and technology, accepted in June 2017
    • G. Festa, L. Arcidiacono, A. Pappalardo, T. Minniti, C. Cazzaniga, A. Scherillo, C. Andreani, R. Senesi, "Isotope identification capabilities using time resolved prompt gamma emission from epithermal neutrons", JINST 2016
    Conference papers
    • G. Sancesario, G. Festa, L. Arcidiacono, G. Sancesario, S. King, V.G. Sakai, R. Senesi, C. Andreani, "A neutron study of capability of aggregation of the Abeta1-40, Abeta1-42 and Abeta3-42 peptides", Annual Meeting Nast Center-Rome February 2017 (Poster)
    • G.   Festa, L. Arcidiacono, R. Senesi, C. Andreani, "Time-resolved Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis at ISIS Spallation Neutron Source", UK Engineering Users Meeting-Abingdon, December 2017 (talk)
    • G. Festa, L. Arcidiacono, R. Senesi, C. Andreani, "Time resolved prompt gamma activation analysis from epithermal neutrons applied to cultural heritage", ICANS-Oxford March 2017 (Poster)
    • L. Arcidiacono, G. Festa, G. Romanelli, M. Martinon-Torres, C. Andreani, "Novel neutron technique for non-destructive and non-invasive analysis of archaeological gold", UCL-SEAHA conference-Brighton, June2017 (Poster)
    • L. Arcidiacono, G. Festa, G. Romanelli, M. Martinon-Torres, R. Senesi & C. Andreani "Development of a non-invasive neutron technique for the analysis of archaeological gold: a pilot study on Byzantine coins", workshop IMAGING, Varenna, September 2017 (Poster)
    • L. Arcidiacono, G. Festa, R. Senesi, C. Andreani, "Time-resolved prompt gamma activation analysis at ISIS spallation neutron source", workshop on eV neutron scattering, Rome November 2017 (poster)
    • L. Arcidiacono, G. Festa, G. Romanelli, M. Martinon-Torres, R. Senesi, C. Andreani "Byzantine gold coins analysed using time-resolved prompt gamma activation analysis", ISA 2018, Merida, May 2018 (poster)L. Arcidiacono, G. Festa, M. Martinon-Torres, R. Senesi, C. Andreani, "Development of a new neutron technique for the analysis of gold alloys: validation through standards and a pilot study on Byzantine gold coins", SEAHA 4th conference, London, June 2018