Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (pXRF) at Trapiche Itapalluni, Peru

Published: 9 November 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/brk2b2tx77.1


This data was collected in 2018 from the historic silver refinery of Trapiche Itapalluni near Puno, Peru (1650-1800 CE). It has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102568) and Advances in Archaeological Practice. The data was collected from a Olympus Delta Premium (model DP-6000-C) portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometer. The output is listed in parts per million (ppm). We conducted a surface soil survey of our site to detect levels of heavy metals in soils. The results of our analysis identified hazardous levels of antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in excavation soils, necessitating the relocation of planned excavation units. We also identified the use of the patio process with mercury at our site. This study highlights the advantages of rapid, in situ pXRF analysis of surface soils in contaminated industrial archaeology sites to assess potential harm to human health, as well as to examine past metallurgical activities. We applied factor correction to some values in our analysis (not all the elements needed factor correction). In our data here, we include the final, corrected results. We also provide checks of subsamples analyzed by WD-XRF.


Steps to reproduce

We are more than happy to share further data, such as plots of the factor correction.


University of Pittsburgh, University of Sydney


X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Mercury, Heavy Metal Poisoning, Historical Archeology, Silver, Mining, Ore Refining, Andes, Employee Health and Safety