Dr. Gerard Barrett
Research Fellow – 14CHRONO
14CHRONO (Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology)
School of Natural and Built Environment
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK
+44(0)28 9097 5377
Research and 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 anthropogenic materials (i.e. mortars and ceramics) and chronology building. These are best summarized as follows:
The application of radiocarbon dating to ceramics and construction materials such as bricks and mortars.
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.
The origin, nature, and chronology of the earliest fired clay ceramics (including pottery and bricks) globally.
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.
Qualifications and Training
Ph.D. Rehydroxylation Dating Queen’s University Belfast 2015
Rehydroxylation Dating: Assessment for Archaeological Application (unpublished 2015 – Queen’s University Belfast)
M.Sc. Dating and Chronology Queen’s University Belfast 2011
Rehydroxylation Dating: Investigating the Effects of Diurnal and Annual Temperature Cycles within Ireland and Great Britain (unpublished 2011 – Queen’s University Belfast)
M.Sc. Atomic and Molecular Cluster Physics National Univ. Ireland, Maynooth 2008
B.Sc. Experimental Physics Trinity College Dublin 2004
Cert. British Prehistoric Pottery Oxford Univ. Dep. Cont. Education 2011
Cert. Vacuum Physics and Techniques Univ. Cat. de Louvain 2005
Barrett, G.T. 2017a. Rehydroxylation (RHX) dating: Trials on post-medieval brick using a component based approach. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 16 489-502 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.01.026]
Barrett, G.T. 2017b. Rehydroxylation (RHX) dating: Mass loss issues due to incomplete drying, carbon content, and mineral alteration. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 16 472-488 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.02.001]
Barrett, G.T. 2017c. Processes and kinetics of mass gain in archeological brick following drying and reheating. Journal of the American Ceramic Society. 100 3108-3121 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jace.14829]
Barrett, G.T. 2017d. Rehydroxylation (RHX) dating: Issues due to short term elevated temperature events. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 14 609-619 [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.06.041]
Van der Burgt, P.J.M., Mahon, F., Barrett, G. and Gradziel, M.L. 2014. Electron impact fragmentation of thymine: partial ionization cross sections for positive fragments. European Physical Journal D. 68 151
Barrett, G.T. 2013. Rehydroxylation dating of fired clays: an improved time-offset model to account for the effect of cooling on post-reheating mass gain. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40 3596-3603
Barrett, G. and van der Burgt, P.J.M. 2008. A new apparatus for the study of electron impact fragmentation of molecular clusters. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 101 012008
Conference Paper Presentations
Barrett, G.T. 2017. Rehydroxylation dating: an assessment of archaeological application. EMACS 2017 – European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics. Bordeaux. France. (September 2017)
Barrett, G.T. 2013. A new setup for testing the mass gain (rehydroxylation characteristics of fired clay ceramics. World Archaeology Congress-7. Dead Sea. Jordan (January 2013)
Barrett, G.T. 2007. Electron Impact Fragmentation of Biomolecular Clusters. AMIG07 - Atomic and Molecular Interactions Group conference. Maynooth
Conference Poster Presentations
Barrett, G.T. and Reimer, P. 2018. Mortar Dating: Comparison of approaches and the use of FTIR in sample assessment. 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference. Trondheim. Norway (June 2018)
Barrett, G.T. and Reimer, R. 2017. Fractionation effects in H2 and Zn reduced graphite as a function of ionizer current: effectiveness of fractionation and normalization correction. AMS14 – 14th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. Ottawa. Canada (August 2017)
Barrett, G. 2013. A new setup for testing the mass gain (rehydroxylation characteristics of fired clay ceramics. World Archaeology Congress-7. Dead Sea. Jordan (January 2013)
Barrett, G. 2012. Rehydroxylation dating: a new setup for testing the mass gain characteristics of fired clay ceramics. Insight from Innovation: New Light on Archaeological Ceramics. University of Southampton (October 2012)
Barrett, G. and van der Burgt, P.J.M. 2007. A New Apparatus for the Study of Electron Impact Fragmentation of Molecular Clusters. RADAM07 – Radiation Damage in Biomolecular Systems conference. Dublin.
Barrett, G. and P.J.M. van der Burgt. 2006. Electron impact fragmentation of molecular cluster. Biomolecules – From Gas Phase Properties to Reaction relevant in Living Cells (ESF Conference). Obergl, Austria (June 2006)