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Department of Archaeology

Friday, 10 March, 2023 - 13:15
Event speaker: 
Maria Vega Cañamares, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid

Raman spectroscopy constitutes a great non-destructive method to characterize the chemical composition and structure and to determine the provenance and authenticity of objects of archaeological and historical importance. It gives information on the molecular and crystal lattice vibrations, constituting a fingerprinting technique, that allows the unambiguously identification of archaeological materials. The coupling of a Raman spectrometer with an optical microscope allows the selective analysis of components of heterogeneous samples on a micrometre scale. The simplicity of this application, makes it one of the most widely used techniques for the identification and study of archaeological artefacts.

Raman spectroscopy has been applied so far to the analysis of many archaeological materials, such as, rock art and tomb paintings, ceramics, glass, lithic tools, textiles, plant fibres, resins, waxes, and biomaterials. This presentation will focus on the application of Raman microscopy for the analysis of two specific archaeological artefacts: plaster paintings and lithic tools. For the first one, the goal was the identification of the pigments and the materials used in the plaster, while for the second one, it was the evaluation of the adhesives used in the hafting of the tool

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Event location: 
McDonald Seminar Room
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