Romano-British wall-painting fragments: a spectroscopic analysis

Edwards, Howell, de Oliveira, Luiz, Middleton, Paul, & Frost, Ray L. (2002) Romano-British wall-painting fragments: a spectroscopic analysis. The Analyst, 127(2), pp. 277-281.

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Raman spectroscopic analyses of fragmented wall-painting specimens from a Romano-British villa dating from ca. 200 AD are reported. The predominant pigment is red haematite, to which carbon, chalk and sand have been added to produce colour variations, applied to a typical Roman limewash putty composition. Other pigment colours are identified as white chalk, yellow (goethite), grey (soot/chalk mixture) and violet. The latter pigment is ascribed to caput mortuum, a rare form of haematite, to which kaolinite (possibly from Cornwall) has been added, presumably in an effort to increase the adhesive properties of the pigment to the substratum. This is the first time that kaolinite has been reported in this context and could indicate the successful application of an ancient technology discovered by the Romano-British artists. Supporting evidence for the Raman data is provided by X-ray diffraction and SEM-EDAX analyses of the purple pigment.

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31 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 23485
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1039/b109762h
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 13:56
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 18:42

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