Ernst Pernicka

Senior and Managing director, founding director of the Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH, Mannheim

Ernst Pernicka is a chemist with a strong background in archaeology and heritage science. He held the first chairs of archaeometallurgy (TU Bergakademie Freiberg) and later of archaeometry (Universität Tübingen, Universität Heidelberg) in universities of the German speaking countries. He created the first university teaching program on archaeometry and is senior faculty at the University of Tübingen and responsible for the Tübingen Troia project. He is the author of more than 500 scientific publication including editor and co-editorship of 21 books. Forthcoming publications include an article on identifying the separation of gold and silver in antiquity and a two-volume publication of the results of the excavations at Troia between 1988 and 2008. Pernicka is a frequent speaker and has published extensively on the application of scientific techniques to cultural heritage.

Pernicka’s major interest and experience are in the provenance of the raw materials of archaeological objects, especially metals. He is one of the pioneers of the application of isotope analysis for this purpose. He also developed various means to investigate the authenticity of cultural historical objects, e.g. the unique Pb-210 test for base metals and silver. He is also a specialist in the authenticity analysis of gold and was recently involved in the analysis of pigments of Renaissance paintings. His institute regularly performs investigations of authenticity for official institutions like museums, State Office of Criminal Investigation, Public Prosecution Services as well as private persons. He was appointed to the pool of Experts of CAfA in June 2021.

He is co-founder and was long-term president of the Gesellschaft für Naturwissenschaftliche Archaeologie - ARCHAEOMETRIE for furthering the advancement of Heritage Science. He was also Associate and Managing Editor of the journal Archaeometry for several years. He is a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Pernicka’s educational background includes: Habilitation in Analytical Geochemistry (University of Heidelberg); PhD in Chemistry and Physics (University of Vienna).