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The application of X-ray absorption spectroscopy in archaeological conservation: Example of an artefact from Henry VIII warship, the Mary Rose

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2016.05.020 DOI Help

Authors: Alan Chadwick (University of Kent at Canterbury) , Aaron Berko (University of Kent at Canterbury) , Eleanor Schofield (Mary Rose Trust) , Andrew D. Smith (Dalton Cumbrian Facility) , Fred Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source) , A. Mark Jones (The Mary Rose Trust) , Giannantonio Cibin (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Non-crystalline Solids

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2016
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 1205

Abstract: We report a microfocus X-ray absorption (XAS) investigation of a thin film sample from an iron contaminated wooden arrow tip raised from the seabed with the Mary Rose. The XAS studies were combined with optical and scanning electron microscopy measurements. The arrow tip had been treated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) soon after it had been raised and stored in a controlled environment. The measurements revealed a significant concentration of iron sulfide nanoparticles. This indicates that in this sample there was a reduction of the oxidative effects of the normal ambient atmosphere that is usually seen in untreated timbers. The film was treated overnight with an aqueous solution of diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA), which is normally very effective in sequestering iron. This had little effect in terms of removing iron from the film and possible explanations are discussed.

Journal Keywords: Mary Rose; Waterlogged wood; XAS. SEM; DTPA

Subject Areas: Archaeological and Cultural Heritage, Chemistry


Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy