Honoring the Legends of Nuclear Archaeometry
This page is dedicated to the people who are legends of nuclear archaeometry research. They were responsible for creating the first generation of Archaeometry Labs based on neutron activation analysis as a technique to characterize archaeological materials for the purpose of provenance research investigations.
Bill Newton (1928-2005) was a Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Chemistry at the University of Manchester from 1964 until 1988. He was leader of the Radiochemical Methods group and became heavily involved in the application of NAA to ceramics from Roman and Medieval Britain and the Levant. His laboratory produced more that 20 PhDs who used NAA in their research.
Frank Asaro (1927-2014) was a Senior Scientist who worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for more than 40 years applying NAA to studies of archaeological materials. His most famous work was in the collaboration with Nobel Prize winning physicist Luis Alvarez to detect the element Iridium in the boundary layer between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods. This discovery is accepted as proof that an asteroid was responsible for the mass extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.
Garman Harbottle (1923-2016) was a Senior Scientist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1947-1997. He was responsible for developing and applying new techniques to the analysis of archaeological materials, including NAA. His most famous works were studies of the Vinland Map, Mexican turquoise, and Chinese flutes.