Fast and in-situ identification of archaeometallurgical collections in the Museum of Malaga using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and a new mathematical algorithm

F.J. Fortes, L.M. Cabalín, J.J. Laserna, Heritage, 2020, 3, 1330 – 1343


This paper reports the use of an advanced statistical algorithm for the recognition and classification of a set of 30 archaeological metallic objects from the Museum of Malaga. In-situ laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) analysis was performed using a portable analyzer. The coordinate-obtaining method provided the statistical weights of each element in the sample. A comparative study between the coordinate-obtaining method and the linear correlation method is also discussed in order to corroborate the applicability of the proposed approach to the field of cultural heritage. The possibility of fast identification based on the simultaneous comparison of all the spectra in the reference LIBS library while allowing the analysis of heterogeneous materials is the main advantage of the method. In addition, statistical analysis (Euclidean distance analysis and binary diagrams) suggested that differentiating between archaeological sites is feasible.

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