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Physical science and archaeology

  • J. A. Charles

In recent years the important role that scientific research techniques can play in archaeological investigations has become increasingly recognized. An early major review on the whole subject of both physical and biological science in archaeology by D. Brothwell and E. S. Higgs was revised in 1967 and represents the major work in this field. More recently, much of the effort in physical sciences has also been admirably reviewed by Tite (1970). This present paper also seeks to outline the ways in which physical science has contributed to archaeological discovery, with particular emphasis on recent developments known to the author.

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Brothwell, D. and Higgs, E. S.. 1967. Science in archaeology (London).
Charles, J. A. 1969. A metallurgical examination of south-east European copper axes, Proc. Prehistoric Soc., XXXV, 2, 402.
Charles, J. A. 1968. The first Sheffield Plate, Antiquity, XLII, 27885.
Charles, J. A. and Leake, J. A.. 1970. Problems in the fluorescence analysis of Cu/Ag Byzantine Trachy and metallurgical information from sections, Royal Numismatic Society Symposium on the composition and analysis of Coins—to be published in 1972.
Fletcher, J. M. 1970. Dendrochronology—the use of density charts from x-ray films for correlation studies in the Oxford region, Symposium on Archaeometry and Archaeological Prospection, Oxford.
Hendy, M. F., and Charles, J. A.. 1970. The production techniques, silver content and circulation history of the twelfth-century Byzantine Trachy, Archaeometry, XII, 1, 1321.
Junghans, S., Sangmeister, E., and Schroder, M., 1960 and 1968. Studien zu den Anfangen der Metallurgie, Band I, Band II (Berlin).
Merwe, N. J. van der. 1969. The carbon 14 dating of iron, (Chicago).
Oddy, W. A., Schweitzer, F.. et al. 1970. A competitive analysis of some gold coins. Royal Numismatic Society Symposium on the composition and analysis of Coin’—to be published.
Renfrew, C., Dixon, J. E. and Cann, J. R.. 1966. Obsidian and early cultural contact in the near east, Proc. Prehistoric Soc., XXXII, 3071.
Slater, E. A., and Charles, J. A.. 1970 Archaeological classification by metal analysis, Antiquity, XLIV, 20713.
Suess, H. E. 1967. Radioactive dating and methods of low-level counting, (Vienna, Internal Atomic Energy Agency), 143–51.
Tite, M. S. 1970. The impact of the natural sciences in archaeology, Contemp. Physics, XI, 6,52339.
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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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