Infrared Spectra Library

Quote from: Weiner, S. (2010). Chapter 12. Microarchaeology. Beyond the Visual Archaeological Record. Cambridge University Press:

“The identification of materials and their characterization, is in many respects, the key to elucidating the microscopic archaeological record. Among all the methods used for this purpose in archaeology, infrared spectroscopy is one of the most useful. Infrared spectra are easy to obtain, but can be difficult to interpret. The purpose of this chapter is to provide information on interpreting infrared spectra of archaeological materials, as well as reviewing some of the more common applications. The latter are referred to as “overviews” in this chapter.
Infrared spectroscopy is a sensitive method for obtaining information on the molecular structures of crystalline and amorphous/disordered materials, as well as organic materials. Infrared spectroscopy can thus be used to both identify materials and to characterize their states of atomic order/disorder. In these respects infrared spectroscopy is similar to powder X-ray diffraction, although the latter cannot be used to identify and characterize amorphous/disordered materials. Amorphous/disordered materials are common in archaeology”.

This Chapter provides background to the practical use of infrared spectroscopy in archaeology, as well as 14 examples of applications. The spectra used in this chapter, as well as many others are from a library prepared by Prof. Steve Weiner. The library also contains most of the known biogenic minerals, and is thus also useful for the field of biomineralization. The library was prepared using KBr pellets and the spectra were obtained using a Nicolet 380 spectrometer, that includes the far infrared range. The individual files are thus suitable for incorporating directly into Omnic software, but can easily be changed to a format suitable for other softwares.

Download this Archive zip fileLibrary DownloadDownload the library from this web site at no charge. It is requested that if you use this information in a publication that you acknowledge the use of the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science Infrared Standards Library, Weizmann Institute of Science.

We are also very keen to expand this library. We would welcome suggestions for additional materials to be added. We will be glad to receive a small amount of each sample and run the spectra at the Kimmel Center. Please contact Prof. Weiner in this regard.(steve.weiner@weizmann.ac.il).