The 12th Archaeological Chemistry Symposium was held as part of the Spring ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 7-11, 2013. This volume is a compilation of presentations from the Symposium, the latest in a long tradition that began at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in 1950. The papers herein show that archaeological chemistry today is more than the usual studies of trace elements in pottery and lithics, which continue to contribute to our understanding of human behavior in the past. New areas of research include more focus on portability to analyze pigments in situ and artifacts in museums, nascent developments in non- and minimally destructive chemical characterization, new applications of isotopic analyses, and an increasing interest in archaeological biomolecules. This volume is divided into sections that roughly follow those of the Symposium: Pigments, Residues and Material Analysis, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, and Isotopes in Archaeology. The first section, Pigments and Dyes, begins with a review of manuscript pigments by Dr.
Mary Virginia Orna, the organizer of the 9th Archaeological Chemistry Symposium and Editor of Archaeological Chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemical Analysis (2). Each of the following sections begins with a review paper from one of the invited speakers. Dr. Valerie Steele, now at the University of Bradford in the Department of Archaeological Science, provides an overview of the state - for better and for worse - of analyses of archaeological residues. Portable X-ray fluorescence instruments are becoming extremely common in archaeological chemistry investigations; Dr. Aaron Shugar of Buffalo State University provides in his chapter some perspectives and warnings against the indiscriminate use of this technology. Finally, Dr. Matthew Sponheimer gives an overview of the contributions of stable carbon isotope and trace metal studies in understanding early hominin diets. The final chapter of the book provides a perspective on the earliest work in archaeological chemistry in the 18th century and brings us up to today's challenges.