Archaeometry is based on the application of analytical techniques from other scientific disciplines (geology, chemistry, physics, biology, etc.) to the study of heritage.

In recent years, archaeometric studies have gained importance in the archaeological research carried out in Spain, to such an extent that they have become essential for obtaining types of data that, once interpreted, significantly add to the historical information provided by the archaeological finds. Among them, the characterisation of inorganic materials has been pioneering, as these materials, above all pottery, but also stone and metal, are those most likely to have survived in the archaeological record or as a medium for artistic productions.

The Archaeometric Studies Unit was born with the aim of applying analytical techniques to inorganic archaeological finds (initially ornamental stone, building materials and pottery) and providing an archaeological interpretation of the results. The Unit’s work is divided into three main areas:

Research suport

This is its main objective and it is designed to support archaeologists and offer its services to public institutions, both nationally and abroad, and to private companies related to heritage management, archaeology and restoration.

Research and innovation

The Unit also undertakes research projects related to its area of competence that add to our knowledge of the inorganic materials from antiquity or are designed to complete its reference collections.

It also works on the optimisation of analytical techniques in their application to archaeological finds and the testing of new techniques to assess their archaeometric usefulness and performance.

Education and training

It habitually participates in advanced training with a series of specialised courses related archaeometric techniques.