SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


Laura Arcidiacono

Alumna, University College London

Project Title 

Novel neutron techniques for the non destructive and non invasive analysis of archaeological gold.

Background & Summary of Project

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 utilized 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, 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 assess the provenance of gold artefacts from the pre-Hispanic period in South America. Determining the origins of the gold 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 interaction among human groups.



L. Arcidiacono, A. Parmentier, G. Festa, M. Martinón-Torres, C. Andreani, R. Senesi, Validation of a new data-analysis software for multiple-peak analysis of γ spectra at ISIS pulsed Neutron and Muon Source, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 938 (2019) 51-55

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 techniquesAngewandte Chemie 57 (2018) 7375-7379

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 sourceJournal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy 7 (2017) 1420-1427 

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 MeritJournal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy 21 (2017) 1342-1347

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 SpectrometerJournal of Physics: conference series 1021 (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 SourceJournal of Instrumentation 12 (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 neutronsJournal of Instrumentation 11 (2016)