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The IFAO Radiocarbon Laboratory: A Status Report

  • Anita Quiles (a1), Nagui Sabri Kamal (a1), Mostafa Abd’el Fatah (a1) and Nadine Mounir (a1)

The Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO) in Cairo is one of the major French research centers abroad. It is placed under the aegis of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and manages an archaeometry department that features laboratories for three units of research: conservation, material studies, and radiocarbon (14C). The 14C laboratory was founded in 2006 to offer the possibility of 14C dating in Egypt. It is totally devoted to archaeological issues, uses the conventional liquid scintillation counting (LSC) method, and is equipped with two benzene synthesis lines. This paper reports on the performances and quality-control procedures of the IFAO 14C laboratory, both from the perspective of the chemical syntheses and from the radiometric measurements (background dispersion, standards, intercomparison programs). It shows how this lab occupies a privileged position to develop interdisciplinary studies of Egyptian chronology and to offer high-standard competencies to the IFAO scientific research programs. Finally, it raises the question of the future perspectives of the laboratory.

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  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
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