Materials and the Environment
Analysis of Artefacts and Cultural Assets
The development and enhancement of non-destructive analytical methods makes natural-scientific examination a valuable tool in extensively characterising the material composition of artefacts and cultural assets. Scientific material analysis methods provide important clues to answering unresolved historical and cultural questions that cannot be solved using the methods of the humanities alone.
It is also necessary in many cases to characterise environmental material damage in order to create suitable restoration or conservation strategies. The provision of support in natural science-related matters in restoring and conserving such assets rounds off the range of focus tasks performed by the Analysis of Artefacts and Cultural Assets division.
Fields of expertise
Non-destructive material analysis of colorants, writing & drawing materials, and document materials (focus on manuscripts)
- Mobile and non-destructive material analysis using micro X-ray fluorescence analysis (micro XRF), infrared spectroscopy (diffuse reflection), Raman spectroscopy and visible spectroscopy (VIS)
- Investigation of surface changes
- Production of model substances
- Identification of environmental effects on artefacts and cultural assets
- Provision of support in natural science-related matters in the development of restoration and conservation strategies
Range of services/technical equipment
- X-ray fluorescence analysis (Tracer III-SD, MikroTAX, Jet-M6)
- Vibration spectroscopy: Raman, FTIR (ATR, DRIFTS)
- VIS spectroscopy
Publications of the division