Abstract

Archaeometry is the application of scientific techniques to archaeology. The general perception is that it consists of the use of a number of geophysical techniques that were originally developed to explore for mineral deposits in order to delineate anthropological remains in the subsurface without disturbing them. Such techniques include resistivity tomography (e.g., Saey et al., 2012; Glover, 2010; Papadopoulos et al., 2006), proton-spin magnetometry (e.g., Büyüksaraça et al., 2006), ground-penetrating radar (e.g., Dabas et al., 2000; Neubauer et al., 2002), and electromagnetic measurements (e.g., Bigman, 2012). The perception has been fed by television series such as the Time Team, and now many university-based geophysicists spend at least some of their time applying their techniques to archaeological remains. However, these techniques are only one part of archaeometry, which also covers the use of physical and chemical methods to understand how archaeological remains were made and used (e.g., Lima et al., 2012; Cagno et al., 2010) as well as their composition (e.g., Wei, 2012), dating (e.g., Aitken, 1999) and provenance (e.g., Tochilin et al., 2012; Pensabene et al., 2012; Thulman, 2012). In this paper, we consider how the application of a simple magnetic susceptibility measurement may be used to discriminate between potsherds from different sources as well as showing that some aspect of the manufacture or use of the pots leads to the inner and outer surfaces having statistically different magnetic susceptibilities.

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