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Open AccessArticle

Straw in Clay Bricks and Plasters—Can We Use Its Molecular Decay for Dating Purposes?

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Institute of Physics and Materials Science, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordan Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Institute Applied Geology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordan Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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National Heritage Institute, Valdštejnské náměstí 162/3, 1118 01 Praha, Czech Republic
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Faculty of Architecture, University of Technology, Poříčí 273/5, 639 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Lopas GmbH, Oberwaltersdorfer Straße 2c, 2523 Tattendorf, Austria
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Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Hollandstraße 11–13, 1020 Vienna, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helga Lichtenegger
Molecules 2020, 25(6), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061419
Received: 10 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Bio-inspired Materials)
Dating of clay bricks (adobe) and plasters is a relevant topic not only for building historians in the Pannonian region. Especially in vernacular architecture in this region, clay with straw amendments is a dominant construction material. The paper presents the potential of the molecular decay of these amendments to establish prediction tools for age based on infrared spectroscopic measurements. Preliminary results revealed spectral differences between the different plant parts, especially culms, nodes, and ear spindles. Based on these results, a first prediction model is presented including 14 historic samples. The coefficient of determination for the validation reached 62.2%, the (RMSE) root mean squared error amounted to 93 years. Taking the limited sample amount and the high material heterogeneity into account, this result can be seen as a promising output. Accordingly, sample size should be increased to a minimum of 100 objects and separate models for the different plant parts should be established. View Full-Text
Keywords: adobe construction; earth construction; vernacular architecture; straw amendments; FTIR spectroscopy adobe construction; earth construction; vernacular architecture; straw amendments; FTIR spectroscopy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tintner, J.; Roth, K.; Ottner, F.; Syrová-Anýžová, Z.; Žabičková, I.; Wriessnig, K.; Meingast, R.; Feiglstorfer, H. Straw in Clay Bricks and Plasters—Can We Use Its Molecular Decay for Dating Purposes? Molecules 2020, 25, 1419.

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