The second International Conference on Neutron Imaging and Neutron Methods in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (NINMACH 2017)
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 11-13 October 2017
The mission of the NINMACH conference series is to address neutron scientists, as well as archaeologists and conservators, by creating a stimulating environment to exchange ideas and to make a bridge between them. Since the first NINMACH took place in Garching, Germany in 2013, this field became even more mature, substantial experimental experience was accumulated, and an advanced community of specialists was formed. In 2017, the Hungarian neutron- and cultural heritage communities received the honour to organize the second NINMACH.
The three-days-long meeting took place in the landmark building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, right next to the famous UNESCO world heritage river banks in Budapest, Hungary. The event was organized by the Budapest Neutron Centre, the consortium of Centre for Energy Research and Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In the spirit of interdisciplinarity, both neutron scientists and heritage experts have presented their most recent results about developments or applications of various neutron-based methods. New technical developments, case studies on different materials (metals, ceramics, stones, organic matter) and historical objects (utensils of ordinary life, monetary units, weapons, funerary attachments, religious relics, building materials) of Cultural Heritage significance were discussed.
Sessions were devoted to present studies from Neutron imaging, Neutron activation analysis and Prompt gamma activation analysis as well as Neutron scattering. The technical background was highlighted in sessions called Facilities, techniques and data processing and Multi-technique approach and complementary techniques. The four keynote speakers represented the state-of-the-art of neutron imaging (Dr. Eberhard Lehmann, Dr. Burkhard Schillinger) and the interdisciplinary (Prof. Thilo Rehren) and multi-technique approach (Dr. Thomas Calligaro) of heritage science. Two of the five invited talks were focussing on archaeological interpretation (Dr. Katalin T. Biró, Dr. Friedrich Wagner), one on conservation application of historical buildings (Dr. Francesca Sciaretta) while the two others on instrumental approaches (Dr. László Szentmiklósi, Dr. Nikolay Kardjilov). The dense program of the conference included 27 oral presentations and 20 posters. In addition, a workshop by the Volume Graphics, supplier of high-end data visualization software, was also part of the program. The most represented topic was neutron imaging with three sessions, in total 9 lectures.
This meeting was a successful with 66 registered and 62 actually attended participant representing a wide range of disciplines (physics, chemistry, geology, archaeology, conservation science, engineering) and nationalities (Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, UK, USA).
Results of our transnational access programs at BNC, including the FIXLAB pillar of the IPERION CH and its predecessor CHARISMA, were well represented at the meeting: five oral and seven poster presentations were devoted to disseminate the project’s outcomes. In addition, two future beam-time applicants of IPERION CH were also presenting their current research activities. Due to the successful former IPERION CH and CHARISMA collaborations, two archaeologists were invited to the international advisory committee of the conference: Dr. Maria Isabel Prudêncio (Universidade de Lisboa, PT) and Prof. Thilo Rehren (UCL Institute of Archaeology, UK). In addition to the academic program, post-conference visits to the Hungarian National Museum and the Budapest Neutron Centre have also been organized.
Budapest Neutron Centre – http://www.bnc.hu
NINMACH 2017 conference website – https://indico.kfki.hu/event/518/
Book of Abstracts – https://indico.kfki.hu/event/518/material/4/