The instrumental activation analysis of silicate rocks using epithermal neutrons has been studied using both high resolution coaxial Ge(Li) detectors and low energy photon detectors, and applied to the determination of 23 elements in eight new U.S.G.S. standard rocks. The analytical use X-ray peaks associated with electron capture or internal conversion processes has been evaluated. Of 28 elements which can be considered to be determinable by instrumental means, the epithermal activation approach is capable of giving improved sensitivity and precision in 16 cases, over the normal INAA procedure. In eleven cases the use of the low energy photon detector is thought to show advantages over convertional coaxial Ge(Li) spectroscopy. ?? 1977 Akade??miai Kiado??.