Gerard Barrett

    Gerard Barrett

    Research Fellow

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5105

    For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    I work on and conduct research into the operation, optimization, and maintenance of the accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS, NEC compact 0.5MV) used in radiocarbon dating at 14CHRONO.   Continual examination of approaches to improve the accuracy and precision while maintaining the production of high quality dates is a core element of this work.     

    Additional interests focus on the application of scientific methods to archaeology with special emphasis on dating methods and their use in relation to ceramics and chronology building.  These are best summarised as follows:

     

    • Rehydroxylation dating: continued assessment of the potential exploitation of the mass gain properties of fired clay ceramics to the dating of ceramics of known/unknown age.  Understanding the nature of molecular water reabsorbed during rehydroxylation/rehydration is fundamental to this.

     

    • The origin, nature, and chronology of the earliest fired clay ceramics (including pottery and bricks) globally.

     

    • The application of radiocarbon dating to ceramics and construction materials such as bricks and mortars.

     

    • The conditions, nature and chronology of the Mesolithic – Neolithic transitions in Europe, with special emphasis on Ireland and NW Europe.

     

    • The use and interpretation of radiocarbon dates more generally in chronology building (i.e. Bayesian methods and the use of probability distribution functions) and the nature/timing of transitions between defined cultural/technological periods.   

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