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RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS OF NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY

Problems related to the determination of the age of the archaeological findings and their composition / technology on the macroscopic and microscopic level, the origin of their raw material, the location of buried monuments under the sea and land, genetic origins as well as the ancient diet of ancient and prehistoric populations, and many more, can be solved with the archaeological sciences or archeometry.

The archeometry is an interdisciplinary field, which draws tools from all sciences, i.e. physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, geology, biology, and focuses on the humanities with specific applications in archeology and art history. The ultimate goal is the close study of human evolution and ancient cultures.

The contribution of natural sciences has now been established worldwide, in order to achieve this objective through the solution of archaeological problems.

The time machine in the Laboratory of Archaeometry, at the University of the Aegean

DATING METHODS

The dating methods offer a plethora of applications to solve many archaeological problems. Dr. Ioannis Liritzis, professor of Archaeometry at the University of the Aegean and director of the Laboratory of Archaeometry, together with students and colleagues at national and international level, provides answers through measurements of dating ancient findings made by various methods.

Specifically, in the laboratory, innovative methods have been developed, such as thermal and Optical Luminescence of archaeological monuments (and geoarchaeological materials), hydration of obsidian tools, while other archaeometrical topics include analysis for characterization and provenance with XRF, dosimetry (alpha, beta and gamma radiations), archaioastronomy and archaiometallurgy.

Amongst the significant results of the laboratory are the discovery of a new nuclear method for dating of prehistoric obsidian tools (SIMS-SS) (Liritzis SIMS-SS), materials found in Milos island, but has dated obsidians from other parts of the World, too. Additionally, Mr. Liritzis with his interdisciplinary team, tried to date two pyramidal buildings in Argolid. The new dating method followed was based on solid state physics and atomic physics phenomena with optical luminescence of dating ancient masonries. The results came in direct conflict with the findings until then, since the new age of the buildings was attributed from the mid until the end of the 3rd millennium BC instead of just the 3rd-4th century BC. His method, now known internationally as surface luminescence dating, has been applied to many Greek materials (Dragon House, Mycenae, Delphi, etc.) and has been used by other researchers. He is currently perfecting the use of the new Ra-226 dating method for dating ancient metals.

Awards & Distinctions of Professor I. Liritzis

Corresponding Member of the Advisory Committee, Shanghai Archaeological Forum (Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), 2013.

First International Archaiometry Award—COSTA NAVARINO, 2010.

Academician European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg, 2009.

MEDITERRANEAN ARCHAEOLOGY & ARCHAEOMETRY, citation Thomson’s Reuters, USA, 2008.

Corresponding Member Academician, Academie des Sciences, Arts et Belles Lettres, Dijon, 2003.

Praise of the Academy of Athens for the Book Archeometry: dating methods in archaeology, 1986, Ed. Kardamitsa Press, 1988.

UNIVERSITY OF AEGEAN

DEPARTMENT OF MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES

Ioannis Liritzis, Professor, Department of Mediterranean Studies, Director of the Laboratory of Archaeometry.

http://www.maajournal.com http://dms.aegean.gr/lab http://dms.aegean.gr/ Liritzis CV