Neutron activation analysis has been used for provenance determinations of Bronze Age pottery from two cities in the Jordan River and Dead Sea areas . A pottery shard group believed to represent the local clay composition of one of the sites based on statistical clustering procedures was used with a dilution factor method developed by H. Mommsen and colleagues (1) to determine the origin of the shards. Based on the dilution factor method, a provenance determination has been established for three of the thirty - two shards analyzed. Irradiations of 30 min, 1 hr, and 4 hr duration were performed using a two megawatt nuclear reactor. Isotopes observed were Ag 110m, La 140, Sc 46, Nb 95, Mn 56, K 40, K 42, Na 24, and Br 82. The overall error in the isotopic concentrations is taken to be 8%. This includes an estimate for the natural inhomogeneity in clay (1). In addition, mudbrick originally assumed to be representative of the local clay composition of the two cities was studied. The intent was to use these samples to form known clay composition groups. Mudbrick was shown not to provide an accurate representation of the local clay composition.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Pottery--Analysis; Nuclear activation analysis; Pottery, Ancient--Palestine
Department, Program, or Center
School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)
Kipler-Koch, Debra Ann, "Provenance determination of Bronze Age pottery using neutron activation analysis" (1989). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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