• MEarth Sci(Hons) Geology (Manchester) - 2003

Research project

LA-ICP-MS, EPMA and XRF analysis applications to provenancing archaeological artifacts

Working with:

Research interests

My research can be split into several smaller projects with the common theme of provenancing archaeological artefacts with geochemcial and statistical analysis.

Carnelian beads from India and Mali have been analysed using LA-ICP-MS in order to determine if trace elements incorporated into the crystal structure can be used to provenance the samples and ultimately re-construct trade routes.

Trace elements in modern glass wine bottles have been analysed with WD-XRF, and subsequently Principal Component Analysis has been applied to the data to distinguish between countries of manufacture. This was carried out to test the application of XRF to the analysis of glass and in turn has been applied to Islamic age (8th-14th Century) glass from Bahrain.


  • Fraser S., B.E. van Dongen, A. Thompson and T. Insoll. 2013. Organic Geochemical Analysis of Archaeologogical and Contemporary Medicine Pots. In Temporalising Anthropology, edited by Insoll, T., MacLean, R., and Kankpeyeng, B., 247-252. Africa Magna Verlag.
  • van Dongen B.E. and S. Fraser. 2013. lipid biomarkers characterisation, x-Ray Fluorescence and X-Ray diffraction Analysis of Medicine Clay Samples. In Temporalising Anthropology, edited by Insoll, T., MacLean, R., and Kankpeyeng, B., 243-246. Africa Magna Verlag.
  • Fraser S., D. Polya, P. Lythgoe, T. Insoll. Subm. XRF analysis of modern glass bottles - and potential applications to provenancing archaeological samples. Journal of Archaeological Sciences
  • Fraser S.E., T. Insoll, A. Thompson, B.E. van Dongen. 2012. Organic geochemical analysis of archaeological medicine pots from Northern Ghana. The multi-functionality of pottery. Journal of Archaeological Science. 39, 2506-2514. j.jas.2012.03.015
  • van Dongen B.E., S. Fraser, T. Insoll. 2011. The Composition and Origin of Ghana Medicine Clays. Anthropology & Medicine, 18, 285-302.
  • Fraser S., D. Polya, P. Lythgoe, T. Insoll. 2005. Preliminary work for the LA-ICP-MS analysis of carnelian archaeological artefacts. In: Plasma Source Mass Spectrometry - Current Trends and Future Developments. (Eds. G. Holland and D.R. Bandura). RSC Publishing. pp 213-224