The Identification Of Historical Glasses By Silicon Isotope Ratios

Author(s): Jackson Davis; Ray von Wandruszka

Year: 2015


The identification of historical glasses is of broad interest in historical archaeology. Analysis by ICP spectrometry is commonly used for this purpose, but this is costly. An alternative is presented by the determination of silicon isotope ratios, which require milligram quantities of glass and can be carried out with gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers that are routine instruments in most modern chemical laboratories. The methodology is based on the conversion of the silicates in glass to gaseous SiF4, which is isolated by the gas chromatograph and quantified by the mass spectrometer on the basis of the 3 silicon isotopes, 28Si, 29Si, and 30Si. Previous work has shown that the isotope ratios can be used to identify geological silicates, but the technique has not been applied to historical glasses. The present work indicates that this is possible, predicated on the appropriate methodology for SiF4 generation and statistical analysis of the mass spectrometric results.

Cite this Record

The Identification Of Historical Glasses By Silicon Isotope Ratios. Jackson Davis, Ray von Wandruszka. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434048)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 441