For the first time, neutron images in 3 dimensions have been taken of rare archaeological artifacts here at ORNL. Bronze and brass artifacts excavated at the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan were recently imaged in 3 dimensions using neutrons at HFIR’s CG-1D Neutron Imaging instrument. The data that is now being analyzed will for the first time give eager archeologists and ancient historians significant, otherwise wholly inaccessible insight into the manufacturing and lives of cultures that once occupied settlements within the Roman Empire, Middle East, and Colonial-period New England.
The samples that were imaged in 3-D in August came from the collections of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University. They include an elaborate hanging bronze oil lamp, a large Roman coin, and - most charmingly - a standing dog figure, which might have been either a religious dedication or perhaps a toy. Read more.