Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy: a potential new means of assessing multi-phase earth-built heritage

Simon J. Parkin, W. Paul Adderley, Maureen E. Young, Craig J Kennedy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Earth-built structures were historically very common in Scotland. As
    building techniques have changed, the number of standing earth
    buildings has reduced. Now the few earth buildings that remain are
    significant testaments to a lost craft tradition. Understanding the
    composition of earthen materials used in construction enables better
    decision making in conservation. Here, we utilise near infrared (NIR)
    spectroscopy as a portable, non-destructive tool to assess the mixed
    inorganic and organic matrix from earth-built structures and experimental
    comparators. NIR is shown to be able to distinguish clearly
    between clay-rich blocks of different origin. Admixtures of aggregates
    such as topsoil, gravel and straw have a significant impact on
    the spectral data collected. This technique has the potential to better
    inform repairs and conservation works on historic earth-built
    buildings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4574-4579
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnalytical Methods
    Volume5
    Early online date11 Jul 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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