Systematic application of NAA analyses on selected Japanese find contexts

A cooperation between Kyōto University, Heidelberg University, and TU Wien

Maria Shinoto (Heidelberg University (Homepage))

The project is lead by Makoto TOMII from Kyōto University, and researchers from the Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Sciences of the same university and the Atominsitut, TU Wien perform scientific analyses of selected sherds from excavations at the Kyōto University campus.

NAA analyses of ceramic materials had been applied in the 1970ies in Japan, led by researchers from Kyōto university. Its application in archaeometrical research was abandoned quickly, while application of NAA since then has developed to a high standard in Europe. Starting with the Nakadake project, its application in the developed form has recently been successfully re-introduced to Japan, e.g. in the project on Mobility of people and technology at the National Heritage Site in Hirota and in a pilot study at the National Heritage Site in Kamuiyaki.

The current project tests the application of NAA on two sets of ceramics material from the Japanese Middle Ages and the Edo period and tries to answer questions beyond provenance. The comparison of measurement and analyses of the finds between Kyōto and Vienna is a characteristic of this project that shall prepare future collaboration and developments. My role is to define appropriate research questions together with M. TOMII and select sample material that is suitable for both the research questions and the analytical methods.

This is a preliminary introduction and shall be completed and updated in the course of the ongoing project.