Journal article

HyLogger (TM) near-infrared spectral analysis: a non-destructive mineral analysis of Aboriginal Australian objects

Rachel S Popelka-Filcoff, Alan Mauger, Claire E Lenehan, Keryn Walshe, Allan Pring



Cultural heritage materials from Indigenous cultures often use geological raw materials such as natural rock and mineral pigments. For analysis, these complex human-altered materials require high-resolution, non-destructive methods, and in the case of intricate designs, a point-by-point analysis and mapping capability is desirable. The CSIRO Australia HyLogger™ technology has been adapted from mineral exploration and mining applications to the high-resolution non-destructive infrared and visible light spectroscopic mineral analysis of Aboriginal Australian objects. Aboriginal Australian people primarily applied mineral pigments such as hematite and kaolinite to wood, fibre, bark, resin or ot..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge staff at the DMITRE Core Library, Glenside, South Australia, Australia for sample preparation and instrument support; South Australian Museum Board and South Australian Museum Aboriginal Advisory Group for support and permission to access and analyse the collections; Gary Toone and Tara Dodd of Anthropology Department of South Australian Museum for artefact logistics; Anne Dineen of Artlab Australia for assessment of lumen/light on artefacts; and Liz Murphy of Artlab Australia for photography of artefacts. The project has approval number 4670 from the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee of Flinders University. Funding is gratefully acknowledged from the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Fellowship (Popelka-Filcoff), and Australian Research Council Grant #LP0882597 (Lenehan, Pring and Popelka-Filcoff). HyLogger (TM) development was initially funded by AMIRA, its deployment as a novel technology has been funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy: managed by AuScope, and co-funded by the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST) of the South Australian Government. The technology has been made widely available in Australia through a Federal grant enabling each State Government Geological Survey to host an instrument for the purpose of scanning their core libraries.<SUP>26-29</SUP>