Non-destructive provenance study of chert using infrared reflectance microspectroscopy


In this paper we explore the potential of non-destructive Infrared reflectance microspectroscopy (IRRMS) for the characterization of chert samples from 10 different geological outcrops in North America with emphasis on the Midcontinent. A principle objective of the project is to determine whether IRRMS analysis can provide a mineral-based signature for bedrock sources of chert artifacts. The technique utilizes a Bio-Rad Digilab FTS-40 Infrared spectroscope and microscope attachment that reflects an infrared beam off a chert specimen. Our findings indicate that spectral features from the molecules constituting minor and trace minerals in chert may provide sufficient characterization for chert sourcing. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Journal of Archaeological Science