A number of spectroscopic techniques were used to obtain further information about the scheelite structure of compounds found in the ternary oxide system of bismuth, molybdenum, and iron. Infrared data indicated the presence of discrete tetrahedral and corner sharing octahedral molybdenum. Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy provided evidence for the presence of an additional electronic level in the lattice, resulting in a shift of the charge transfer energy to longer wavelengths. The combination of ir and uv-visible spectroscopy indicated that at high temperatures distortion of the metal-oxygen bonds occurs. Iron was found to be present as Fe3+ and in two nonequivalent environments by Mössbauer spectroscopy. ESCA revealed that the surface layers contained bismuth, iron, molybdenum, and oxygen. ESCA measurements also revealed that Bi, Mo, and Fe were present in the surface layers as Bi3+, Mo6+, and Fe3+, respectively.