Application of XRF and AMS Techniques to Textiles in the Mongol Empire


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) techniques were applied to four pieces of ancient Mongolian textiles in order to assist cultural studies of the most significant era of medieval western Asian culture. Radiocarbon dating using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) was performed in order to determine the historical age of these pieces. Then, X-ray fluorescence analysis using Synchrotron Radiation (SR-XRF) was carried out in order to obtain elemental maps as well as investigate their constituent elements. Results showed that the textiles were produced between 12 th and 13 th century, and possessed elements such as Au, Cu, Fe and Ti were traced in these pieces whereas Au was used to make gold threads. Cu, Fe and Ti are well known as metallic mordant. In addition, high-resolution images were obtained using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to observe the textile structure and their weaving conditions. The whole collected data can assist in bringing into light and facilitate a deeper understanding of the medieval Mongolian cultures, the textile technology, staining techniques, material process technology of the Mongolian Empire and their relations with the neighboring east and central Asian cultures, such as Persia, India and China.

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Katayama, T., Ide-Ektessabi, A., Funahashi, K. et al. Application of XRF and AMS Techniques to Textiles in the Mongol Empire. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1047, 104 (2007).

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