RUB » Faculty of History » Archaeological Studies

Archaeometry


Archaeometry is an integral part of archaeological research and deals with the analytical study of inorganic and organic materials from archaeological contexts of all periods and regions. Archaeometry makes use of interdisciplinary methods borrowed from biology, chemistry, physics as well as geology and material science to investigate archaeological questions.

Numerous aspects of archaeological research from the reconstruction of paleoenvironments to the reconstruction of technological processes are nearly impossible to imagine without the aid of the natural sciences. Before an excavation is even planned, geophysical prospections offer valuable information about the settlement structures and the local geology. Isotope analysis provides an important contribution to the provenancing of organic and inorganic objects and in the area of absolute dating. Other facets of archaeometric research are archaeometallurgy, archaeozoology, human genetics, archaeobotany, geoarchaeology, remote sensing, material science analysis of archaeomaterials and experimental archaeology.

Linksoben
Lupe


Rechtsoben
Lupe



Linksunten
Lupe
Rechtsunten
Lupe




Studying in Bochum


At the Ruhr University Bochum an archaeometry focus can be selected in the Bachelor of Arts program »Archaeological Studies«. Upon successful completion of a BA, a Master’s in Pre/Protohistory, the Archaeology of Economics and Raw Materials, or Classical Archaeology can be pursued. Afterwards, a doctoral degree in these fields with an emphasis on Archaeometry can be sought.


The tight network of cooperation partners such as the department of Archaeometallurgy and Material Science at the German Mining Museum makes it possible for the Institute of Archaeological Studies at the RUB to offer archaeometry as research focus. A number of interdisciplinary projects are active in Central Europe, the Mediterranean, Western Asia, and Central Asia, which provide the opportunity to train a wide array of field and analytical methods.


Special Features of Research and Study in Bochum


Through the partnership with the German Mining Museum Bochum, there is a unique emphasis on raw materials and economic archaeology with special regard to the archaeology of mines. This cooperation and the excellent research facilities supported by the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft offer the possibility to gain practical experience in field archaeology and archaeometry with the current research projects in Germany and abroad.
The close proximity of the institutes helps with the integration of archaeological research; and it offers the chance to become familiar with the use of “abstract” laboratory methods to explore the many over-arching archaeological questions. The well equipped and up-to-date research laboratory allows students to learn at the current analytical standards, for example with inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometry.
The methods of archaeometallurgy focus on the use of optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, and isotope and elemental analysis. To better understand the importance of the landscape and the support structures supplying resources to the mining areas, archaeobotanic research is carried out to study the foods and the construction materials used, but also the availability of fuel for the smelting of ore and for use in the mines.
Together, these interdisciplinary methods enable us to explore the impact of mining on the economy and social structure of the ancient world.