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Showcase lecture: Chemical imaging of art, archaeoogy and palaeontology

November 20, 2012

Find out about the latest museum-based research at our free, drop-in showcase lectures, all held at Manchester Museum.

3-4pm: lecture
4-4.30pm: discussion followed by tea & coffee
Drop-in, free

Wednesday 21 November

Showcase lecture: Chemical imaging of art, archaeology and palaeontology

3-4.30pm. With Phil Manning, The University of Manchester. This talk will explore the application of synchrotron-based imaging that yields high resolution (2-100 micron) and highly sensitive (parts per million) chemical maps of large (up to 1 metre square) archaeological artefacts, works of art and fossil remains. The ‘chemical ghosts’ that can be non-destructively imaged in the x-ray part of the electromagnetic spectrum are revealing exciting new information on some very old material.

You can find out more this work at ‘Chemical Ghosts’, at

It is a copper/calcium correlation map of Confuciusornis sanctus, the first beaked bird from 125 million years ago. The map allows us to show the intimate relationship between two critical elements in the biochemistry of this animal that has survived from the early Cretaceous.

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