Nondestructive analysis of ancient Egyptian funerary relics by Raman spectroscopic techniques

Howell G M Edwards, Susana E Jorge Villar, A. Rosalie David, Dalva L A De Faria

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    The non-destructive Raman spectroscopic analysis of a range of ancient Egyptian funerary artefacts has been undertaken with a view to establish the identification of the pigment composition and nature of the interaction with the substrate. The specimens date from the New Kingdom to the Graeco-Roman period, ca. 3900-1800 years B.P. In this study a comparison has also been effected between the near-infrared and red excitation wavelengths for the characterisation of these materials. A particular problem for Raman analysis of these artefacts was found in the application of resin or organic compounds to the surface or substrata, as colourants or to aid adhesion of the pigments, and degradation of the resins with burial environment and exposure has resulted in large fluorescent backgrounds. Nevertheless, useful information has been obtained which assists in the interpretation of the construction of some of the artefacts. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-233
    Number of pages10
    JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2004


    • Egyptian artefacts
    • Pigments
    • Raman spectroscopy


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