[Analysis of trace elements in limestone for archeological functions]

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Numerous quarries in the Lutetian limestone formations of the Paris Basin provided stone for the building and the decoration of monuments from antiquity to the present. To determine the origin of stone used for masonry and sculptures in these monuments, a team of geologists and archaeologists has investigated 300 quarries and collected 2,300 samples. Petrographic and paleontologic examination of thin sections allows geologists to distinguish Lutetian limestones from Jurassic and Cretaceous limestones. Geologists also seek to formulate hypotheses regarding the origin of Lutetian limestones used for building and sculpture in the Paris region. In the search for the sources of ... continued below

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9 pages

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Blanc, A.; Holmes, L. & Harbottle, G. December 31, 1998.

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  • Blanc, A. Lab. de Recherche des Monuments Historiques, Champs-sur-Marne (France)
  • Holmes, L.
  • Harbottle, G. Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (US). Chemistry Dept.

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Numerous quarries in the Lutetian limestone formations of the Paris Basin provided stone for the building and the decoration of monuments from antiquity to the present. To determine the origin of stone used for masonry and sculptures in these monuments, a team of geologists and archaeologists has investigated 300 quarries and collected 2,300 samples. Petrographic and paleontologic examination of thin sections allows geologists to distinguish Lutetian limestones from Jurassic and Cretaceous limestones. Geologists also seek to formulate hypotheses regarding the origin of Lutetian limestones used for building and sculpture in the Paris region. In the search for the sources of building and sculptural stone, the analytical methods of geologists are limited because often several quarries produce the same lithofacies. A new tool is now available, however, to attack questions of provenance raised by art historians. Because limestones from different sources have distinctive patterns of trace-element concentrations, compositional analysis by neutron activation allows one to compare building or sculptural stone from one monument with stone from quarries or other monuments. This analytical method subjects a powdered limestone sample to standard neutron activation analysis procedures at Brookhaven National Laboratory. With the help of computer programs, the compositional fingerprints of Lutetian limestones can be determined and stored in a database. The limestone database contains data for approximately 2,100 samples from monuments, sculptures and quarries. It is particularly rich in samples from the Paris Basin.

Physical Description

9 pages

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00354898

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  • Conference on geologie et archologie, Lau Favel (FR), 05/1998; Other Information: Supercedes report DE99003507; PBD: [1998]

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  • Other: DE99003507
  • Report No.: BNL--66550
  • Report No.: CONF-9805191--
  • Grant Number: AC02-98CH10886
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 354898
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc676698

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 31, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2015, 3:06 p.m.

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Blanc, A.; Holmes, L. & Harbottle, G. [Analysis of trace elements in limestone for archeological functions], article, December 31, 1998; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676698/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.