Handheld Portable X-Ray Fluorescence of Aegean Obsidians

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Abstract

We tested two portable XRF instruments (with different technologies) using two correction schemes (‘soils’ and ‘mining’) with both factory-set calibrations and linear regression calibrations derived from published data. All four Aegean obsidian sources, including Sta Nychia and Dhemenegaki on Melos, were distinguished in each case. The newer instrument provided better ‘off-the-shelf’ accuracy than the older instrument, but calibrations negated these differences. The newer model also offered superior precision for most elements, despite measuring specimens for shorter times. Both correction schemes for the newer instrument resulted in almost equal precision, meaning that either may be used for successful Aegean obsidian sourcing.

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