A heritage science laboratory has been established at the Nuclear Research Institute of Debrecen (ATOMKI) with HUF 420 million in funding from the European Union. The world-class research infrastructure allows researchers to carry out complex, extremely precise studies to examine objects of cultural and natural heritage in collaboration with both Hungarian and international partners.
The imaging and analytical tools acquired enable non-destructive analysis of archeological finds and artefacts, and allow materials to be examined even at the microscopic level. This supports researchers in their efforts to obtain information on the structure and material composition of objects of many different sizes. The equipment acquired will also enable the institute to study the isotopes of bones, the latest line of inquiry for researchers. This procedure can be used to research past eating habits and extend radiocarbon dating to cremated burial remains.
Heritage science is a relatively new name for complex research on cultural and natural heritage. The new discipline encompasses heritage management, analysis, conservation, interpretation, and documentation. In addition to archeology, museology, art history, anthropology and paleontology, natural science methods and sensitive analytical procedures also play a vital role in heritage science. ATOMKI has decades of tradition in this field and this investment will further enhance the scientific standing of the institute in the research of finds and objects related to cultural and natural heritage.