Optical dating archaeology
He was truly one of the 'founding fathers' of archaeometry. He married Joan Killick, with whom he had four daughters and a son. J., 1988, Analysis of low-level natural radioactivity in small mineral samples for use in thermo-luminescence dating, using high-resolution gamma-spectrometry, (ed.
The basic principles are explained in terms of thermoluminescence dating of pottery, with particular regard for the interests of archaeologists.Maniatis, Y., Michael, C., Haikalis, D., Papamarinopoulos, S., Stoneham, D., Bussell, G. J., 1988, Inauthentication of a Corinthian wine vessel using archeomagnetism and thermoluminescence (abstract), , 30, 165-182. Atomic Energy Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, pp. Extensions of luminescence dating to other fired materials such as burnt flint, and to stalagmitic calcite and unburnt sediment are then outlined, including optical dating of the latter.Final sections deal with limitations in age range, accuracy and error limits.The School of Archaeology regrets to announce that Martin Aitken has died in his home in France, aged 95.
He was a physicist who dedicated his time to research in the scientific aspects of archaeology.
He went up to Wadham College, Oxford, to read Physics, but his studies were interrupted by the Second World War, in which he served as a Technical Radar Officer in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar).
After completion of his Oxford doctorate he undertook research in nuclear physics using a small electron synchrotron.
The scope of the meetings broadened in 1969 to become the “”, which continues to this day as a bi-annual international conference.
As well as proton magnetometers, he also developed the use of fluxgate magnetic gradiometers for the detection of buried remains, and was involved (with Derek Walton) in the development of the first SQUID cryogenic magnetometer (a device capable of measuring extremely subtle magnetic fields) to be used in Britain.
In retirement he and his wife moved to a house near Clermont Ferrand in France. D., and Winter, M., 1988, Determination of the intensity of the Earths magnetic-field during archaeological times - reliability of the Thellier technique, , 26, 23-25.