Heritage Science – Examination of art and archaeological objects

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Research area Application of nuclear physics and of accelerators
Participants in the research work

Our tangible heritage is characterized not only by its form and style, but also by the totality of its material and physical properties, from which information of historical significance can be extracted with proper interpretation. The research is multidisciplinary, the material tests performed in Atomki take place in the framework of domestic and international collaborations, with archaeologists, museologists, art historians and geologists.


Heritage science is a relatively new term for the complex research on our cultural heritage, including treatment, conservation, interpretation and documentation. In addition to archaeology, museology, art history, anthropology and palaeontology, analytical methods, especially the almost non-destructive physical procedures have an increasing role in this field.

For this research, the imaging and analytical equipment available in the Laboratory for Heritage Science is used to examine the material and structure of art and archaeological objects.

For the determination of the concentration and distribution of elements in the objects, ion beam analytical investigations are also performed using the measurement set-up installed at the Tandetron accelerator (previously at the Van de Graaff accelerator).

Outstanding publications: