Raman spectrometry, a unique tool to analyze and classify ancient ceramics and glasses
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Raman micro/macro spectroscopy allows a non-destructive remote analysis: body and glaze, crystalline and amorphous phases can be identified, including the nanosized pigments coloring the glaze. Last-generation instruments are portable, which allows examination in museums, on archaeological sites, etc. This paper gives an overview of the potential of the Raman-spectrometry technique to analyze ancient ceramics and glasses. Selected glasses as well as glazes of various porcelains, celadons, faiences and potteries, representative of the different production technologies used in the Ancient, European, Mediterranean, Islamic and Asian worlds, were studied. Their identification is based on the study of the Raman fingerprint of crystalline and glassy phases. Raman parameters allow for the classification as a function of composition and/or processing temperature. Special attention is given to the spectra of amorphous and coloring phases (pigments).
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