Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My digital microscope

After a long wait my digital microscope from the Celestron brand finally arrived via the Bulgarian Federation of Astronomy based in Sofia. The microscope is a miniature (it is 10 cm long and weighs only 113 grams) accompanied by a metal stand for static pictures and videos which can be recorded from a variety of positions. The auto lighting is automatic when you plug the USB in the computer, and the installation program (compatible with PC and MAC) is user friendly. The digital optic power is from 10 to 150 times which is quite enough for inspecting the surface and structure of the artifacts, and is suitable for micro-investigation of the finds.

Sufrace of the stone tool from the raw material so called 'Balkan flint from Neolithic Macedonia'

The microscope is ideal for studying the details in many cases, like: stamps, rocks, minerals, insects, plants, other materials such as textiles, while in archeology can be used in work with coins, small decorative objects made of semiprecious stones, and generally all artifacts that are research subject of archaeologists. I bought it specifically for the study of stone tools that I work with and identification of the traces of use (crops, pigments, wood) of various materials which left a mark on their surface.

Silica shine from cereals on the surface of the stone tools embeded in Tribulums

Hand-held digital microscope for both its purpose and function is relatively cheap. If I can afford it as an individual, then it must be a standard equipment for the institutions which works with artifacts, museums and the Faculty of Archaeology. But unfortunately, this it is not the case in Macedonia.

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