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Replicating Surface Texture: Testing the Accuracy of Moulding Materials with Confocal Microscopy

Author(s): Danielle Macdonald ; Adrian Evans ; Robert Harman

Year: 2016

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The use of surface metrology microscopes and analytical processes is proliferating for the analysis of archaeology materials. Data collected from these microscopes allows for reliable and reproducible measurements of surface texture. However, archaeological materials provide some unique challenges for microscopic analysis; at times objects cannot be directly examined, whether these materials cannot leave a museum or are too large to observe under a microscope. Because of these challenges, many researchers create moulds and casts of an artifact’s surface prior to measuring surface texture. The replicate surface is assumed to be an accurate representation of the original surface texture, however the reliability of different moulding materials is currently unknown. This paper evaluates a range of common moulding materials using confocal microscopy to test the resolution, precision, and accuracy of different moulding compounds for surface texture measurements of archaeological materials.

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Replicating Surface Texture: Testing the Accuracy of Moulding Materials with Confocal Microscopy. Danielle Macdonald, Adrian Evans, Robert Harman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403169)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America