Evaluating fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as a non-destructive chert sourcing technique


The visual and chemical similarity between some chert types and individual outcrops within the same geologic formation often hinders accurate provenance determination. Fourier Transform Infrared reflectance micro-spectroscopy (FTIR-RM) is a nondestructive method demonstrating potential application in chert sourcing. Prior to analysis of archaeological assemblages, the accuracy of the technique and analytical methodology must be tested. The current pilot study examines a geologic sample database of two visually similar chert types (Dover and Fort Payne) in order to determine the technique's ability to differentiate both inter- and intra-outcrop variation. The analysis of these results gives us an improved understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the FTIR-RM chert provenance technique and associated statistical methodology. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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