IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science


INFN-CHNet network Florence division is mainly linked to the 3 MV tandem accelerator placed in the LABEC laboratory, largely devoted to cultural heritage activities. This accelerator allows for radiocarbon dating with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique and for Ion Beam Analyses (IBA) on cultural heritage. A pulsed beam channel is present, used for both testing detectors used by the network and for supporting research about cultural heritage, for example by irradiating with controlled dose quartz and feldspar used in thermoluminescence dating. In the last years, a new line devoted to the development of X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) scanners has started; the goal is to obtain systems as compact, strong, low-cost and low-radiation as possible, and with the same acquisition platforms used for the accelerator. Radiocarbon dating can be applied to those materials that once belonged to a living organism. In a more general sense, it can be applied to those systems that have been in equilibrium with a carbon reservoir on earth and for which we can identify a “moment” when this equilibrium is broken. Typical organic samples are charcoals and wood, bones, seeds, textile fibres, both from animal and vegetal origin, carbonates of shells. What we measure is how much time has passed since the moment of the equilibrium break, i.e. the death of the living organism. Thus, in some cases, for example for bones, we can date the moment we are typically interested in (the death of the being), in other cases, for example when we date a material that was part of an artefact, we just date the “death” as well, and not when that material was used in the artefact itself. 14C-AMS measurements results have of course to be calibrated to determine the best estimation of the true calendar ages of dated samples.