External-beam PIXE characterization of volcanic material used in ancient Roman mortars

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: P. Sonck-Koota , A. Lindroos , J.-O. Lill , J. Rajander , E.-M. Viitanen , F. Marra , M.H. Pehkonen , J. Suksi , S.-J. Heselius
Publication year: 2008
Journal: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Journal acronym: NUCL INSTRUM METH B
Volume number: 266
Issue number: 10
Start page: 2367
End page: 2370
Number of pages: 4
ISSN: 0168-583X


Volcanic deposits from two volcanic districts, Monti Sabatini (MSVD) and Colli Albani (CAVD), NW and SE of Rome, were analyzed using the particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique, in order to obtain chemical fingerprints that can be used for provenance studies of filler materials in ancient Roman mortars. The rock samples were mounted on an X-Y stage enabling scanning over the sample surface and irradiated in air with a collimated 3 MeV proton beam. The samples were either analyzed by scanning the beam over a polished surface or they were crushed, ground and homogenized prior to the irradiation. However, scanning over polished sample surfaces avoiding heterogeneities gave quite similar results as scanning over pellet surfaces, especially for the minor and trace elements. This study shows that the deposits of MSVD and CAVD can be distinguished from each other. Several elements or elemental ratios can be used to characterize the districts. Even the individual volcanic deposits of CAVD can be identified. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


external-beam, PIXE, pozzolana, provenance studies, Roman mortars, volcanic rocks

Last updated on 2020-10-07 at 02:10