A new approach for analysis of entire potsherds of archaeological interest by INAA, using the conventional relative method, is described. The analytical method proposed involves, primarily, the preparation of replicates of the original archaeological pottery, with well known chemical composition (standard), destined to be irradiated simultaneously, in a well thermalized external neutron beam of the RP-10 reactor, with the original object (sample). The basic advantage of this proposal is to avoid the need of performing complicated effect corrections when dealing with large samples, due to neutron self shielding, neutron self-thermalization and gamma ray attenuation. In addition, and in contrast with the other methods, the main advantages are the possibility of evaluating the uncertainty of the results and, fundamentally, validating the overall methodology.
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Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the acceptance of the research project (CRP project 15524), which made it possible the implementation of the method.
- Archaeological pottery
- Instrumental neutron activation analysis
- Large samples