Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 5053–5063 | Cite as

The eye of Horus viewed by the spectrochemical analytical eye of LIBS

  • H. E. Ahmed
  • O. Aied NassefEmail author
  • M. A. Harith
Original Paper


About a century ago, the prominent tomb of King Tutankhamun has come to light after being sealed for more than 3200 years in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. The present work presents an investigation of archeological textile samples belonging to the tomb of such well-famed Egyptian pharaoh (Dynasty 18; ruled circa 1334–1324 B.C.). The sample’s uniqueness and its fragility characteristics suggested the use of the sample-friendly technique: laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) which is also known for being simple and fast surface spectrochemical analytical technique. The LIBS analysis was carried out at atmospheric pressure using the fundamental wavelength (1064 nm) of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser along with an echelle spectrometer coupled to an ICCD detector for spectral dispersion and detection. Under the same experimental conditions, five distinct regions were analyzed for surface elemental distribution at two different laser pulse energies, 50 mJ and 25 mJ. Acquired spectral emission data showed the presence of elements such as C, Na, Mg, Si, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Fe, Cu, and Sr which provide comprehensive visualization of elements existing in the investigated regions. For validation of the LIBS results, supporting study using scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) micro-analysis and X-ray diffraction (XRD) has been performed. The study confirms that the use of LIBS technique is a convenient and a perfect choice for fast, safe, and in situ elemental analysis of delicate precious samples encountering archeological operations.


Laser-induced breakdown Spectroscopy Plasma parameters Archeological textile Tutankhamun 


Supplementary material

12520_2019_861_MOESM1_ESM.docx (12 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ArcheologyCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.National Institute of Laser Enhanced ScienceCairo UniversityGizaEgypt

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