There is limited information regarding the nature of plant and animal residues used as adhesives, fixatives and pigments found on Australian Aboriginal artefacts. This paper reports the use of FTIR in combination with the chemometric tools principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering (HC) for the analysis and identification of Australian plant and animal fixatives on Australian stone artefacts. Ten different plant and animal residues were able to be discriminated from each other at a species level by combining FTIR spectroscopy with the chemometric data analysis methods, principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering (HC). Application of this method to residues from three broken stone knives from the collections of the South Australian Museum indicated that two of the handles of knives were likely to have contained beeswax as the fixative whilst Spinifex resin was the probable binder on the third.
- Principle component analysis
- Stone artefacts