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Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology (LAM) - UMR 8220

LAMS is a new research unit established January 1, 2012 and co-supervised by Sorbonne Université and the CNRS. It is made up of staff previously associated with the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (15 permanent CNRS researchers and engineers). The lab works with objects of great value from past civilizations, and with the institutions these works belong to. The research team has developed a thorough knowledge of the scientific analysis of these works and is experienced in collaboration with those responsable for a collection. This activity has led to the development of original research on molecular and structural analysis techniques, in particular mobile technology, as well as the study of chemical reactions in complex media.

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LAMS's research topics of concern two areas: The evolution of materials in the long term, in order to determine some informative markers in ancient materials and to identify the mechanisms of very slow kenetic chemical transformations (over centuries or millennia); and secondly the development of material production (know-how, raw materials) in specific geo-cultural areas, in conjunction with exchange networks. It is developing a technical facility that includes mobile analyzers, some of which are custom-built by the team, and including X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction.

The expertise of the team members is particularly recognized in the development of portable insturments and in the analysis by synchrotron radiation and ion beams. They study particularly complex materials: products used are often very heterogeneous (e.g. organic-inorganic hybrids such as lacquered pigments and pictorial material) and have changed over time (e.g. materials from the living: bone, ivory, skin and hair). This complexity makes it necessary to develop original analytical approaches and the application of imaging methods during this analysis to enable adequate spatial resolution. Frequent access to synchrotron radiation sources is important. IR beams and synchrotron X are increasingly used to study ancient materials. Four researchers from the unit are familiar with these techniques and some have been truly pioneers in this field.

Contact Informations
Contact Informations
WALTER Philippe

Physical address

Laboratory's mail
Mailing address
Sorbonne Université
Site Le Raphael
3 rue Galilée, 94200 Ivry

Communications Contact

Administrative Contact

Katherine Tyrka - 02/01/18

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