Caput mortuum: spectroscopic and structural studies of an ancient pigment

de Oliveira, Luiz, Edwards, Howell, Frost, Ray L., Kloprogge, J. Theo, & Middleton, Paul (2002) Caput mortuum: spectroscopic and structural studies of an ancient pigment. The Analyst, 127(4), pp. 536-541.

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The use of a pigment variously described as caput mortuum, usta or ostrum to provide a deep purple colour in ancient wall-paintings was highly prized, despite the technical difficulties associated with its application. With the Raman spectroscopic characterization of pigments in ancient frescoes and wall-paintings becoming more widespread, it is timely to consider the identification of this material either as a generic haematite alone or in admixture with contemporary blue pigments. Here, Raman and infrared spectroscopic, X-ray diffractometric and scanning electron microscopic structural studies have been undertaken to characterize caput mortuum and to identify a specimen of Roman wall-painting dating from the 3rd century.

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ID Code: 22879
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1039/b111473p
ISSN: 0003-2654
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (030100)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Royal Society of Chemistry
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 13:27
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 18:42

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