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 languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)459-469
Number of pages11
JournalArchaeometry
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 University of Oxford

Keywords

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

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