Chemical compositional studies of archaeological artifacts: Comparison of LA-ICP-MS to INAA measurements Academic Article uri icon


  • Multielement analysis of archaeological artifacts for the purpose of correlating chemical composition in an effort to determine provenience has become a well-known and accepted procedure. In this study, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry with laser ablation probe (LA-ICP-MS) for the direct study of solids was used to generate elemental data for comparison with existing instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) data. Matrix element Al was used as an internal standard in the ICP work to normalize for variations in sample density and sample mass ablated. While absolute accuracy and precision for the ICP data are inferior to INAA, multivariate statistical analysis of data resulting from the two methods demonstrates a high degree of comparability. Sample cluster assignments differed in only 4.7% (4 out of 86) of the cases. Results show a clear usefulness for LA-ICP-MS in archaeological compositional analysis. 2005 Akadmiai Kiad.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • James, W. D., Dahlin, E. S., & Carlson, D. L.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • James, WD||Dahlin, ES||Carlson, DL

publication date

  • January 2005