Members

Claudio TunizProfessor Claudio Tuniz

Email:     ctuniz@uow.edu.au
Phone:   +61 411 347 891
Room:    B41.169

Position
  • Visiting Professorial Fellow

Professional Profile
  • Former Assistant Director, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO), Trieste, Italy.
  • Coordinator ICTP Multidisciplinary Laboratory, Trieste Italy http://mlab.ictp.it/index.html
  • Editor-in-Chief, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Springer, Germany http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/journal/12520
  • Assistant Director,  ICTP (UNESCO), 2004-2010
  • Counsellor (nuclear), Australian Embassy, Vienna, 1999-2004
  • Director, Physics Division, Lucas Heights National Research Laboratories (ANSTO), Australia, 1996-1999
  • Head, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lucas Heights National Research Laboratories (ANSTO), Australia, 1991-1996
  • Senior Principal Research Scientist, Lucas Heights National Research Laboratories (ANSTO), Australia, 1993-1996
  • Principal Research Scientist, Lucas Heights National Research Laboratories, Australia (ANSTO),  1991-1993
  • Consultant, Sincrotrone Trieste, Italy, 1988-1991
  • Researcher, University of  Trieste, Italy, 1974-1991
  • Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Rutgers University, NJ, USA, 1981-1983
  • Laurea, University of Trieste, 1974.

Key Research Interests
  • Development of advanced microanalytical methods, including  portable microtomography and XRF systems, for applications in archaeology and palaeoanthropology
  • Geochronological studies  of Italian Pleistocene archaeological sites with OSL, cosmogenic and uranium-series dating (using underground INFN laboratories
  • Microanalyses of hominin and megafauna teeth, hominin hyoids, ‘Neanderthal flute’ and stone tools.
  • Promotion of advanced scientific methods in studies of human evolution

Development and applications of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating

Since 1980, I have been involved in several projects on AMS radionuclide dating, in Europe, USA and Australia. During the 1990s, I led the the establishment of the AMS centre at the Lucas Heights Research Laboratories in Sydney, supporting national research programmes in Quaternary science and archaeology. I currently promote the use of AMS radiocarbon and cosmogenic dating in palaeoanthropology, in programmes sponsored by United Nations agencies.

Representative publications

Books

  • Tuniz, C., Bird, J.R., Fink, D. &  Herzog, G.F. 1998. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, CRC Press LLC.

Journals and book chapters

  • Calcagnile, L., D’Onofrio, A., Fedi, M., Mandò, P.A., Quarta, G., Terrasi, F. & Tuniz, C. (eds) (2010). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Rome, Italy, 14 - 19 September 2008. Volume 268, 693-1360.
  • Tuniz, C. & Norton, G. (2008). Accelerator mass spectrometry: new trends and applications. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research.  B266, 1837.
  • Tuniz, C., Zoppi, U. & Barbetti, M. (2000). AMS dating in archaeology, history and art. In D.C. Creagh & D.A. Bradley Ed., Radiation in Art and Archaeometry, Elsevier, 444-471.
  • Grun, R., Abeyratne, M., Head, J., Tuniz, C. & Hedges, R. (1997). AMS 14C analysis of teeth from archaeological sites showing anomalous ESR dating results. Quaternary Science Reviews 16, 437- 444.
  • Campbell, J., Cole, N., Hatte, E., Tuniz, C. & Watchman, A. (1997). Dating of Rock Surface Accretions with Aboriginal paintings and engravings in North Queensland. Tempus, 6, 231-239.
  • Roberts, R., Walsh, G., Murray, A., Olley, J., Jones, R., Morwood, M., Tuniz, C., Lawson, E., Macphail, M., Bowdery, D. & Naumann,  I (1997). Luminescence dating of rock art and past environments using mud-wasp nests in northern Australia.  Nature 387, 696-699.
  • Fifield, L.K., Fink, D., Sie, S., Tuniz, C. (1994). Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Canberra/Sydney, Australia, 27 September - 1 October 1993. Volume 92, 1-524.

Development and application of microanalytical techniques based on ions, neutrons and synchrotron radiation

Advanced  scientific tools and procedures, mainly developed in physics research, can be used for the non-destructive characterisation of archaeological, environmental and palaeoanthropological  materials. These include new microscopes based on synchrotron radiation, neutron and ion beams.I have been involved in synchrotron radiation work at the ELETTRA laboratories in Trieste and at Brookhaven National Laboratories in the USA. I have used ion accelerators at the INFN National Laboratories in Italy and at ANSTO in Australia.

    Claudio 4

 Portable Microtomography System X-ray source, sample stage (with bone sample) and detector (from left to right). ICTP/ELETTRA ,Trieste, Italy

Representative Publications

Books

  • C. Tuniz, 2012, Radioactivity: a very short introduction, Oxford University Press

Journals and book chapters

  • Tuniz, C.; Bernardini, F.; Cicuttin, A.; Crespo, M.L.; Dreossi, D.; Gianoncelli, A.; Mancini, L.; Mendoza Cuevas, A.; Sodini, N.; Tromba, G.; Zanini, F.; Zanolli, C. (2013), The ICTP-Elettra X-ray laboratory for cultural heritage and archaeology,  Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment (NIM-A), Elsevier
  • Rachevski A., Zampa G., Zampa N., Rashevskaya I., Vacchi A., Giacomini G., Picciotto A., Cicuttin A., Crespo M.L. and Tuniz C. (2012). X-ray spectroscopic performance of a matrix of silicon drift diodes. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment (NIM-A), Elsevier
  • Giannini, G., Gribkov, V.,  Longo, F., Ramos Aruca, M. and Tuniz, C. (2012). Opportunities afforded by the intense nanosecond neutron pulses from a plasma focus source for neutron capture therapy and the preliminary simulation results, Physica Scripta 86
  • Török, S., Jones, K. & Tuniz, C.(1998). Characterisation of Minerals Using Ion and Photon Beam Methods. In Vertes et al Eds. Nuclear Methods in Geology. Plenum Press, 217–249.
  • Capasso, L., di Tota, G., Jones, K.W. & Tuniz, C. (1995). Synchrotron radiation microprobe analysis of human dental calculi from an archaeological site: a new possible perspective on palaeonutrition studies. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 5, 282.
  • Vittur, F., Tuniz, C., Paoletti, S., Rizzo, R., & Jones, K. (1992). Elemental analysis of growth plate cartilage by synchrotron radiation induced X-ray emission (SRIXE).  Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 188, 1010.
  • Zontone, F., Tuniz, C. & Zanini, F. (1991). Wavelength spread of doubly bent crystals for x-ray microfocusing applications. Nuclear Instruments and Methods B56/57, 968.
  • Devoti, R., Tuniz, C., Zanini, F.& Zontone, F. (1991). X-ray microprobe for XRF analysis and microscopy at Elettra: focusing with bent crystals. Nuclear Instruments and Methods B54, 424.
  • Tuniz, C., Devoti, R., Santoro, G. & Zanini, F.(1990). A synchrotron radiation microprobe for X-ray fluorescence and microtomography at ELETTRA. Nuclear Instruments and Methods B50, 338.

Advanced scientific methods in archaeology and human evolution 

The use of microtomography to determine non-destructively the internal structure of skulls and other fossil remains is revolutionising the field of palaeoanthropology and opening the possibility of studies that were not possible until recently. Microtomography is increasingly used to provide less subjective data related to the anatomical characters of human remains. The image contrast can be dramatically improved using new imaging methodologies including phase contrast radiography and microtomography. Human teeth are one of the best preserved types of evidence available for human evolution studies,  providing crucial information on development, diet and health. Microtomography can be also applied to study the hyoid bone, inner ear endocranial morphology etc. I collaborated in the area of advanced scientific applications in archaeology and palaeoanthropology with several institutions including, University of Trieste, University of Caserta, University of Florence, ANSTO, Australian National University, University of Sydney, Sincrotrone Trieste, University of Chieti, University La Sapienza, Rome,  and UNESCO’s ICTP.

Claudio 5

Claudio and Mike Morwood at the International Conference on Science for Cultural Heritage, organised  at  UNESCO’s international Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, in 2009. 

Claudio 2
Claudio at ARKENAS, Giakarta, 2007.

Representative Publications

Books

  • C. Tuniz, G. Manzi and D. Caramelli, 2013,The Science of Human Origins, Laterza, Italy.
  • Montagnari Kokelj, M., Budinich, M. & Tuniz, C.  2010. Science for Cultural Heritage. World Scientific. 
  • Tuniz, C., Gillespie, R. & Jones, C. 2009. The Bone Readers: atoms, genes and the politics of Australia’s deep past.Allan & Unwin, Sydney, Australia, Left Coast Press, USA, Australia: I lettori di ossa, C. Tuniz, R. Gillespie & C. Jones, Springer, Italy. Choice has selected The Bone Readers as an Outstanding Academic Title in the United States.
  • Furlan,G., Guida, P. C. & Tuniz, C.(eds) 1986. New paths in the use of nuclear techniques for art and archaeology. World Scientific.

Journals and book chapters

  • Bernardini F., Sgambati A., Montagnari Kokelj M., Zaccaria C., Micheli R., Fragiacomo A., Tiussi C., Dreossi D., Tuniz C. and A. De Min (2013), Airborne LiDAR application to karstic areas: the example of Trieste province (north-eastern Italy) from prehistoric sites to Roman forts, Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, 2152–2160.
  • Tuniz C., Bayle P., Bernardini F., Bondioli L., Coppa A., Dreossi D., Macchiarelli R., Mancini L. and Zanolli C., (2012), A new assessment of the Neanderthal child mandible from Molare, SW Italy, using x-ray microtomography, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Issue Supplement 54, 92
  • Tuniz C., Bayle P., Bernardini F., Bondioli L., Coppa A., Dreossi D., Macchiarelli R., Mancini L. and Zanolli C., (2012), A new assessment of the Neanderthal child mandible from Molare, SW Italy, using x-ray microtomography,  Proceedings from the European Society for the study of Human Evolution, 1, 180
  • Tuniz C., Bernardini F., Turk I., Dimkaroski L., Mancini L. and Dreossi D. (2012), Did Neanderthals play music?  X-ray computed micro-tomography of the Divje babe “flute”,Archaeometry, Oxford, UK, 54,3, 581-590
  • Bernardini F., Tuniz C., Coppa A., ManciniL. , D. Dreossi, D. Eichert, G. Turco, Biasotto M., Terrasi F., De Cesare N., Hua Q. and Levchenko V. (2012) Beeswax as Possible Therapeutic Dental Filling on a Neolithic Human Mandible ,PLoS ONE 7 44904.
  • Bernardini F., De Min A, Lenaz D, Sida. P, Tuniz, C., Montagnari Kokelj E (2012). Shaft-hole axes from Caput Adriae made from amphibole-rich metabasites: evidence of connections between northeastern Italy and central Europe during the fifth millennium BC, Archaeometry, Oxford, UK, 54,3
  • Bernardini F., De Min A, Lenaz D, Kasztovszky Z, Turk P, Velušček A, Szilágyi V, Tuniz C and Montagnari Kokelj E (2012). Mineralogical and chemical constraints about the provenance of Copper Age polished stone axes of “Ljubljana type” from Caput Adriae. Archaeometry
  • Bernardini F., de Min, A., Eichert, D., Alberti, A., Demarchi, G., Veluscek, A., Tuniz, C. & Kokelj, E.M. (2010). Shaft-hole axes from Caput Adriae: mineralogical and chemical constraints about the provenance of serpentinitic artefacts. Archaeometry, Oxford, UK,.
  • Bernardini F., Eichert, D., Lenaz, D., De Min, A., Tuniz, C., Velušček, A. & Kokelj, E.M. (2010). Synchrotron FTIR micro-spectroscopy applied to the study of polished serpentinite artefacts: a non destructive analytical approach. Archaeometry, Oxford, UK.
  • Chela-Flores, J., Montenegro, M.E., Pugliese, N., Tewari, V. & Tuniz, C. (2009). Evolution of plant-animal interaction. In: All flesh is grass: Plant-Animal Interactions, a love-hate affair. J. Seckbach and Z. Dubinsky (eds.), Cellular Origins, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, Springer: Dordrecht,  The Netherlands.
  • Chela-Flores, J.,  Jerse, G., Messerotti, M. & Tuniz, C. (2009). Astronomical and astrobiological imprints on the fossil records. A review.   “From Fossils to Astrobiology”, Ed. J. Seckbach, Cellular Origins, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 389-408.
  • David, B., Roberts, R., Tuniz, C., Jones, R. & Head, J. (1997). New optical and radiocarbon dates from Ngarrabulgan Cave, a Pleistocene archaeological site in Australia: implications for the comparability of time clocks and for the human colonisation of Australia. Antiquity 71, 183-188.
  • Roberts, R., Walsh, G., Murray, A., Olley, J., Jones, R., Morwood, M., Tuniz, C., Lawson, E., Macphail, M., Bowdery, D. & Naumann, I.  (1997). Luminescence dating of rock art and past environments using mud-wasp nests in northern Australia. Nature 387, 696-699.

Research projects

X-Ray Portable Systems for Non-Destructive Analysis in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology (funded by the Italian Regional Government in cooperation with Sincrotrone Trieste, Elettra, 2010-2012).

ICTP and ELETTRA laboratories in Trieste are building, under my coordination, new devices that can be used  for in-situ chemical and morphological analyses at remote archaeological sites. These portable systems, designed for multiple analyses, such as x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffraction and microtomography, can be also used in museums, galleries and restoration institutions for precious and non-movable bones and other materials.

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Last reviewed: 2 January, 2014