Scientific techniques developed in materials science offer invaluable information to archaeology, art history, and conservation. A rapidly growing number of innovative methods, as well as many established techniques, are constantly being improved and optimised for the analysis of culturalheritage materials. The result is that on the one hand more complex problems and questions can be confronted, but on the other hand the required level of technical competence is widening the existing cultural gap between scientists and end users, such as archaeologists, museum curators, arthistorians, and many managers of cultural heritage who have a purely humanistic background.The book is intended as an entry-level introduction to the methods and rationales of scientific investigation of cultural heritage materials, with emphasis placed on the analytical strategies, modes of operation, and resulting information rather than on technicalities. The extensive and updatedreference list should be a useful starting point for further reading. Students and researchers from the humanities approaching scientific investigations should find it useful, as well as scientists applying familiar techniques and methods to unfamiliar problems related to cultural heritage.