120 halftones, 33 charts

Laser Ablation-ICP-MS in Archaeological Research

Edited by Robert J. SpeakmanHector Neff



These fifteen essays explore the archaeological applications of an exciting new field
of research in materials science. Since the first archaeometric uses of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) in the early 1980s, most applications have required the processing of solid samples with heat and/or strong acids. This is time consuming, expensive, and sometimes dangerous.
An alternative sample-introduction technique, laser ablation (LA), became commercially available in the mid-1990s. The coupling of laser ablation with state-of-the-art inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometers (ICP-MS) has resulted in the development of extremely sensitive microprobes capable of determining most elements of the periodic table. Already recognized as an invaluable technique in earth sciences, zoology, and botany, the use of LA-ICP-MS is being explored in archaeology.
Robert Speakman and Hector Neff bring together writings that specifically describe laser ablation, methods for data quantification, and applications. Originating in New World and Mediterranean sites, the materials whose analysis are described here include paints and glazes, ceramic pastes, lithics, human teeth and bone, and metals.


David R. Abbott, Arizona State University, Tempe
Ronald L. Bishop, Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education
Vera Tiesler Blos, Universidad Autonoma, Yucátan
James W. Cogswell, Northland Research, Tempe, Arizona
Christina Conlee, University of California, Santa Barbara
Andrea Cucina, Universidad Autonoma, Yucátan
Benjamin Diebold, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Michael D. Glascock, University of Missouri, Columbia
Brigitte Kovacevich, Vanderbilt University, Nashville
Daniel Larson, California State University, Long Beach
Michael Love, California State University, Northridge
Elizabeth J. Miksa, Center for Desert Archaeology, Tucson
Michael P. Neeley, Montana State University, Bozeman
Axel E. Nielson, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina
Helen P. Pollard, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Rachel Popelka, University of Missouri, Columbia
Peter Robertshaw, California State University, San Bernardino
Tom Roll, Montana State University, Bozeman
Sachiko Sakai, University of California, Santa Barbara
Candace A. Sall, University of Missouri, Columbia
Katharina Schreiber, University of California, Santa Barbara
Payson Sheets, University of Colorado, Boulder
A. Natasha Tabares, Ancient Enterprises, Inc., Santa Monica, California
Kevin J. Vaughn, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma
Marilee Wood, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Maria Nieves Zedeño, University of Arizona, Tucson

Contributor Bios
Robert J. Speakman is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Hector Neff is professor of anthropology at California State University, Long Beach.