The Laboratory for Heritage Science provides information on the structure, material composition and age of archaeological and museum objects over a wide range of scales, using scientific methods, dating, and equipment that allows non-destructive material analysis at microscopic level. It offers research opportunities for national museums, archaeologists, university research groups and international partners. Node of the E-RIHS European strategic infrastructure.
The Laboratory for Heritage Science consists of various analytical equipment, and it is also in close collaboration with the carbon dating facility located at ATOMKI premises. An ion beam analytical set-up, installed at one of the beamlines of the ATOMKI Tandetron accelerator, serves to determine the concentration and distribution of elements both in vacuum and in-air (for larger or sensitive artefacts) with high lateral resolution. Elemental analysis and mapping can also be carried out with a micro-XRF device. Besides more traditional techniques, a digital 3D microscope, which yields quantitative information about the structure of the objects in addition to the excellent image quality, is also available for optical imaging. A variable pressure scanning electron microscope (SEM) with analytical modalities is also at disposal. This instrumentation is fitted with a Raman microscope to identify compounds and mineral phases and is able to function as an integrated SEM-Raman microscope.
All the listed techniques are non-destructive and are offered for interdisciplinary research. Projects from national partners (museums, universities, research institutions) are carried out within various frameworks, especially within the E RIHS.hu initiative.
The laboratory provides trans-national access to the ion beam analytical facility within the EU H2020 IPERION HS (Integrated Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure on Heritage Science) programme and participates in joint research activities, as well.
The Laboratory for Heritage Science is also active in higher education and science promotion.