SESAME revives the ancient Near East
Around 240 registrants in 39 countries gathered for the first SESAME Cultural Heritage Day.
The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is a 2.5 GeV third-generation synchrotron radiation (SR) source developed under the auspices of UNESCO and modelled after CERN. Located in Allan, Jordan, it aims to foster scientific and technological excellence as well as international cooperation amongst its members, which are currently Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey. As a user facility, SESAME hosts visiting scientists from a wide range of disciplines, allowing them to access advanced SR techniques that link the functions and properties of samples and materials to their micro, nano and atomic structure.
The location of SESAME is known for its richness in archaeological and cultural heritage. Many important museums, collections, research institutions and universities host departments dedicated to the study of materials and tools that are inextricably linked to prehistory and human history, demanding interdisciplinary research agendas and teams. As materials science and condensed-matter physics play an increasing role in understanding and reconstructing the properties of artefacts, SESAME offers a highly versatile tool for the researchers, conservators and cultural-heritage specialists in the region.