Outdoor bronze statues suffer from corrosion by the urban atmosphere. Short wavelength infrared hyperspectral imaging can determine the spatial distribution of corrosion products on the statue, none of which can be recognised by visual observation.
Hyperspectral imaging can detect weak from strong hardened concrete and normally fired bricks.
Using spectroscopic techniques including Raman and XANES, 3.4 billion year old microfossils from Western Australia’s Strelley Pool formation have been shown to be chemically similar to modern bacteria. This all but confirms the biological origins of the fossils and ranks them among the world’s oldest.
As well as being inedible, LC-MS analysis has shown that 3000+ year-old cheese was contaminated with the bacterium that causes brucellosis.
Direct infusion mass spectrometry has been used to distinguish between authenticated and forged manuscripts attributed to Scottish poet Robert Burns
A combination of synchrotron techniques at the UK’s Diamond Light Source is being used to research the effect of conservation choices on corrosion of iron cannonballs from the Tudor warship, Mary Rose.
AGLAÉ is the only particle accelerator in the world dedicated to studying heritage objects. Now improvements in automation and detector sensitivity have been introduced.
An international research team has shown, using XRF that the iron in Tutankhamun’s dagger blade is of meteoritic origin.
Researchers from Leiden and Delft are using Macro X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (MA-XRF) to read remains of medieval manuscripts hidden inside the bindings which had been “recycled” after the Middle Ages.
Scientists from the universities of Oxford and Manchester, UK, have used a mass spectrometry molecular fingerprinting technique to identify one Neanderthal bone from around 2000 tiny bone fragments.