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Image: Malcolm Lillie


In connection to the MAL facilities, there is a designated laboratory for spectroscopic analysis where instrumentation such as XRF, NIR and RAMAN is available. 

Since these kind of analysis are dependent on a well functioning instrumentation and equipment, we want to emphasize the importance of a well planned timetable to ensure swift sample management. 

Are you interested in applying these analysis on your material? Please contact johan.linderholm@umu.se for further questions. 

XRF - X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy

This technique is useful for quantitative analysis of elements, metals and metalloids, that can give additional information on soil-sediment formation, metal production and artisan activities. It uses high energy X-rays rays to excite elements and analyse the subsequent fluorescent X-rays. It has become a standard tool in archaeological research over the last decade, and MAL uses a portable equipment via collaborators with in the university, have access to more advanced benchtop XRF systems.

NIR-Near Infrared reflectance spectroscopy

Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy is a fast, non-destructive technique that results in chemical spectroscopic information in the NIR wavelength range (850-2500 nm). Information on functional groups of organic compounds as well as some inorganic compounds and gives a qualitative information on for example sedimentary composition. The sensitivity is low but provides information on inorganic as well as organic matter. NIR can also be used for archaeometric studies on artefacts such as flints, quartz, pigments and ceramics/mortar etc. At MAL we use Vis-NIR spectroscopy that also includes the visible light range. Hyperspectral NIR imaging systems are available for chemical image analysis of archaeological- and related materials, both organic and inorganic with high pixel resolution on close range.

Raman spectroscopy (laser induced)

This technique uses monochromatic light (laser or similar) to analyse RAMAN scattering from an object or compound. Advantageous is the quite specific molecular information that can be attained. Combined with NIR spectroscopy these techniques can resolve quite complex matrixes.

Latest update: 2022-10-13