• glass;
  • glaze;
  • silicate;
  • composition;
  • assignment;
  • guide


As an optical method, Raman microspectroscopy offers a great advantage over most other techniques in that it can be performed without any contact with the studied artefact, both at the laboratory using high-resolution, large spectral window instruments, and on site using medium resolution, portable instruments. Six years of experience on various materials has enabled us to propose a tentative guide to identify different types of glassy silicates and to classify them as a function of their composition. In previous papers, different families were recognised empirically using a limited set of samples and the relationship between the peak area ratio (A500/A1000) of the Si[BOND]O bending (∼500 cm−1) and stretching (i.e. ∼1000 cm−1) envelopes, and the different components of the latter peak were established for porcelain glazes. In this paper, we extend the procedure to a larger set of samples (30 representative samples with known compositions selected from hundreds of spectra). Additional relationships between the origin of the material, the Raman parameters and the glass composition (fluxing oxide content, ionicity ratio, etc.) are discussed. Finally we propose different procedures with different degrees of complexity (from two to multivariate treatment) to identify the glass composition. The method is illustrated with an example, namely, the differentiation between Iznik and Kütahya productions. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.