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Vienna Summer School 2010: Radiation Physics in Cultural Heritage Studies

The Summer School “Radiation Physics in Cultural Heritage Studies” makes Vienna's academic resources – distinguished university institutes, well-equipped laboratories, and fine museums – available to men and women of many ages, backgrounds, and nationalities through an intense summer session of archaeometry courses to expand their cultural, social and intellectual horizons.

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Scientific studies in archaeology cover such a wide spectrum of techniques that, apart from the where?,  how? and why? in the background of an artefact’s manufacture, there is plenty to be said about the when? The age of an archaeological object seems to hold the greatest fascination amongst these queries, perhaps because the sheer scale of man’s past helps us to adjust to the reality of our own lifespan. Radiation physics is a key to cultural heritage investigations by unlocking tremendous information that is stored in archaeological and geological artefacts. The Vienna Summer School 2010 addresses recent developments and applications of neutron activation and X-ray fluorescence analysis, luminescence dating, radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology, as well as isotope analysis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. In five days, the courses will procure physical funda-mentals along with practical hands on radiation physics methods in archaeology and exclusive excursions to specialized laboratories. Beyond the doubtless advantages of physical methods in archaeology, the participants will be made aware also of the complications and limitations researchers in each field have encountered. To complete the picture, some particularly fine case histories that are impressing in their coherence of research and ingenuity will be presented.

The Summer School is likewise aimed at art historians, geo-archaeologists and students of arts, natural sciences and engineering. It shall stimulate the dialog and catalyze new interactions between scientists from apparently distant areas of research, who are commonly interested in the application of radiation physics methods in the field of art, geo- and archaeology.

Links: www.ati.ac.at/arch

For more information, please contact:
Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Michael Hajek
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics
Stadionallee 2
1020 Vienna
T: +43 1 58801 14193
mhajek@ati.ac.at