AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometer) System
The Dangoor REsearch Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (D-REAMS) is a dedicated carbon-only AMS system, built by National Electrostatics Corporation (NEC). It is based on the 1.5SDH Pelletron, operating at 460 keV. The machine was installed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, in January–February 2013, and passed the acceptance test on March 2013. Since then, over 4800 samples have been successfully measured.
Sample Preparation Laboratory
Different samples require different pre-treatment procedure prior radiocarbon dating. From the standard ABA treatment for charred samples, collagen extraction for bones or cellulose extraction for plants, and to sample-specific treatment due to poor preservation state or unique contaminants. Moreover, we focus on the development of new pre-treatment procedures for challenging materials (such as phytoliths, ash, plaster, small sample size and more). The pre-treatment is followed by graphitization.
Asscher, Y., et al. 2017. A new method for extracting the insoluble occluded carbon in archaeological and modern phytoliths: Detection of 14C depleted carbon fraction and implications for radiocarbon dating. Journal of Archaeological Science, 78: 57-65.
Material Characterization Laboratory
Material characterization is essential in two levels: First, the sample itself. As most of our samples were buried for thousands of years, modes of preservation, degradation, and contamination influence the decision of suitable pre-treatment and even whether to date the sample at all. Second, in order to verify the relevance of an archaeological sample to its presumed context, micro-archaeological analytical tools should sometimes be used. Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectrometer is used for materials identification and characterization, and various microscopes are used for petrography, micromorphology, and more.
* This laboratory is joined with the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science.
Poduska, K. M., et al. 2012. Plaster characterization at the PPNB site of Yiftahel (Israel) including the use of 14C: implications for plaster production, preservation, and dating. Radiocarbon, 54(3-4): 887-896.
Tree-Rings and Botanical Remains Laboratory
Trees and seeds bare valuable climatic and chronological data. We work on local plants, modern and archaeological, in order to expand the knowledge on past climate, plant domestication, tree growth patterns, and more. The lab is fully equipped for extracting cores from fresh and dry wood, their preparation and analysis, as well as wood and seeds identification and morphometric studies.
Caracuta, V., et al. 2016. Charred wood remains in the natufian sequence of el-Wad terrace (Israel): New insights into the climatic, environmental and cultural changes at the end of the Pleistocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 131: 20-32.