This function is part of the Fed-Twin program of federal science policy of Belgium, which aims to combine and mutually reinforce the expertise of a federal scientific institution and a university by financing a long-term research project. The ISOHERITAGE project is a joint initiative of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (RICH) and Ghent University (UGENT). Prof. Pascal Boeckx and Dr. Mathieu Boudin are the promoters. This Fed-Twin allows to unite the expertise of three Ghent University research groups and the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory of the Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage and, hence, proposes an interdisciplinary research field. The combined expertise and instrumentation available at the Atomic & Mass Spectrometry (A&MS) research group, at the Isotope Bioscience Laboratory (ISOFYS), and at the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory is fully complementary and unique at an international level. In addition, the West-European Archaeology research group of UGent will provide archaeological expertise for adequate interpretation of archeological and cultural heritage context. The overall objective of the Fed-Twin is to advance cultural heritage research in Belgium via dedicated integration of complementary state-of-the-art isotopic provenance and tracing tools.
The short-term the focus of the Fed-Twin is on pottery in the Scheldt basin (Belgium). The aim is to gain information on origin, use (i.e., food sources) and diffusion (i.e., trade) of pottery. It is expected that the developed of analytical methods for elemental, molecular and isotopic characterization will also be applicable to provenance determination of other cultural objects in order to gain information about origin, exchange and trade networks.
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