Arheomet Project - excellence research
Arheomet is the first national project for ancient metallurgic technologies scientific research, bringing together the most prestigious institutions in archaeology and atomic physics: the National History Museum, the Faculty of History from the University of Bucharest, the Institute of Archaeology, and the Institute for Engineering and Atomic Physics, all of them situated in Bucharest.
Archaeometallurgy defines, from the archaeologist's point of view, the techniques of metal reproduction in the prehistoric or ancient societies. From the perspective of experimental sciences, this defines the establishing as precisely as possible of the chemical composition of the metals, in order to reveal not only the technological processes from the ancient societies, but the source of material as well. This last information may have a decisive importance for determining the area of production, establishing thus the circulation of goods-even the so called "prestige goods"-and the power relations.
Certainly, such interests have been demonstrated for several decades, the partnership between the engineers from the Institute of Physics and the archaeologists and the numismatists from the National Museum of History being already a tradition. It is none the less true that this partnership had often had a tacit character, semi-official, the research being systematically confronted with the financial scarcity, the historical artefacts' chemical composition investigation being undertaken under the impulse of certain themes rather than in a systematic manner.
The consortium of the four institutions, established in the summer of 2005, has participated at the auction for Centres of Excellence, the project being accepted within the CERES Programme, with the number PC-D10-PT00-16, through which the interdisciplinary research funding will be undertaken on a period of three years.
The objectives of the consortium imply the measuring of more than a thousand of gold, silver and bronze artefacts, collected in a database designed to offer the "diagnostic" of each object, in comparative databases. The results of this research project will be disseminated, firstly, on this web site, then through two international scientific manifestations, organized in Bucharest in 2007 and 2008.
For more information on the objectives of the project, see global objectives.