Raman Binary Mapping of Iron Age Ostracon in an Unknown Material Composition and High-Fluorescence Setting—A Proof of Concept

A. Shaus*, B. Sober, O. Tzang, Z. Ioffe, O. Cheshnovsky, I. Finkelstein, E. Piasetzky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The textual evidence from ancient Judah is mainly limited to ostraca, ink-on-clay inscriptions. Their facsimiles (binary depictions) are indispensable for further analysis. Previous attempts at mechanizing the creation of facsimiles have been problematic. Here, we present a proof of concept of objective binary image acquisition, via Raman mapping. Our method is based on a new peak detection transform, handling the challenging fluorescence of the clay, and circumventing preparatory ink composition analysis. A sequence of binary mappings (signifying the peaks) is created for each wavelength; their legibility reflects the prominence of Raman lines. Applied to a biblical-period ostracon, the method exhibits high statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-469
Number of pages11
JournalArchaeometry
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Funding

FundersFunder number
FP7/2007
Israel Science Foundation?F.I.R.S.T
Mrs Liora Freud
Mrs Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin and Mrs Myrna Pollak
Seventh Framework Programme229418
European Research Council
Israel Science Foundation644/08, 1457/13
Tel Aviv University
Seventh Framework Programme
Azrieli Foundation

    Keywords

    • Raman mapping
    • biblical archaeology
    • facsimile
    • high fluorescence
    • implicit and posterior composition analysis
    • ostracon
    • peak transform

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