From Raman Spectroscopy in Archaeology and Art History

Chapter List

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Introduction to Raman Spectroscopy
Chapter 3: Practical Raman Spectroscopy and Complementary Techniques
Janet Ambers Ian C. Freestone,
Department of Scientific Research, The British Museum, Great Russell Street,
London WC1B 3DG

1.1 Background

The application of the physical sciences to answer the questions of archaeology and the history of art dates back to the 18 th century, but the establishment of laboratories dedicated to this type of work came some time later. The first of these, the Konigliche Laboratory in Berlin, was established in 1888 but unfortunately did not survive the First World War. However, the same conflict led the British Museum to appoint its first scientist in 1920, in response to the deteriorated condition of obj ects that had been stored underground for safe-keeping during the war years. [1] Whether the object of an investigation is an axe or an oil painting, the identification of its material is critical to a full understanding of the reasons for its corrosion or deterioration and to the determination of the appropriate treatment and storage environment.

A second area of interest involves the application of physical science to understand issues such as where an object was made (its provenance) and the details of its manufacture. An obvious application is in the investigation of the techniques of the great artists, but many other, more mundane, materials of interest are recovered as a result of archaeological excavation. While radiocarbon dating is probably the archaeological technique that is...

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Topics of Interest

Chapter List Chapter 4: Overview Raman Spectroscopy of Pigments and Dyes Chapter 5: Case Study Prehistoric Art Chapter 6: Case Study Painters and Decorators Raman Spectroscopic Studies of Five...

Chapter List Chapter 11: Overview Raman Spectroscopy of Artefacts Chapter 12: Case Study Raman Spectroscopy a Powerful Tool for the Analysis of Museum Objects Chapter 13: Case Study Glasses, Glazes...

Chapter List Chapter 16: Overview Biological Materials and Degradation Chapter 17: Case Study Raman Spectroscopy of Archaeological Biomaterials Ochred Bones and Resin Tembet Chapter 18: Case Study...

Chapter List Chapter 14: Hair as a Bioresource in Archaeological Study Chapter 15: A Perspective on Future Directions Andrew S. Wilson 14.1 The Value of Hair in Bioarchaeology An Introduction The...

Archaeometry is the application of scientific techniques developed for the physical and biological sciences to archaeology. Electron Backscatter Diffraction or EBSD has become relatively common in the...