P05_39Analysis of Darwin and Moldavite impact glasses, Roman pottery and Roman glass by 12 MeV proton activation analysis

5/ Objets du patrimoine
T. Sauvage 1, ,*C.S. Sastri 2, ,*F. Duval 3, B. Arun 4, H. Christian 5.
1CNRS-CEMHTI - Orléans (France), 2Michael-Mueller Ring 29 - Mainz (Allemagne), 3CNRS-ISTO - Orléans (France), 4Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Mainz - Mainz (Allemagne), 5Kinderfacharzt, Zeppelinstr. 25 - Mainz (Allemagne)

*Auteur(s) correspondant(s).
Adresse email : thierry.sauvage@cnrs-orleans.fr (T.Sauvage)
Adresse email : c.sastri@t-online.de (C.S.Sastri)

Charged Particle Activation Analysis (CPAA) is a well established non-destructive nuclear technique for the analysis of light and medium-Z elements in material sciences (1, 2). Recently, we have demonstrated (3, 4) that the method is highly suitable to determine Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Fe, Cu, Ga, Zn, As, Sr, Y, Zr, Sb and Pb in archaeological materials with detection limits for many of these elements at 1 to 10 ppm level. 

In our present work, we have applied CPAA to a variety of glasses and pottery. Darwin is an impact glass which was the result of melting of local rocks under the impact of a large meteorite in Tasmania, Australia.  Moldavite is another impact glass collected from Czech Republic due to a meteoritic impact in Southern Germany with fragments of impact spread all over the neighbouring countries.  Roman pottery and glass were collected from a Roman settlement in Mainz (Germany) and its surroundings.    

The irradiations were performed at CEMHTI cyclotron (CNRS - Orleans) with 12 MeV protons at currents ranging from 150 to 250 nA and irradiation times of 45 to 70 min.  As standards, pure metal foils, NIST – reference standards and ceramic pellets of metal oxides were used.  The standards were irradiated for 5 to 15 min at 30 to 50 nA.  For all irradiations, 10µm Nb foils were used as flux monitor. Each sample was counted 2 times with counting times ranging from 5000 s to 70000 s.  Standards were counted twice for shorter periods of 1000 to 5000s. 

We have shown in this work that CPAA is equally suitable both for a variety of glasses and pottery.  Many of the trace elements found in impact glasses are below detection limits.

As a non-destructive physical method, with its high sensitivity for many trace elements, CPAA can be useful in cross-verification of results obtained by other analytical methods like ICP-MS and NAA.     


1) JL Debrun et al., Anal. Chem., 48(1976)167-172

2) CS. Sastri et al., H, Petri, G. Erdtmann, Anal. Chem., 49(1977)1510-1513

3) CS. Sastri et al., J. Radianal. Nucl. Chemistry 398(2016)241-249

4) CS. Sastri et al., 23rd Intl. Conf. on Ion Beam Analysis (IBA-2017) Shanghai, Oct. 2017.