Monday, January 25, 2010

In the Lab: Inorganic Pigments and Plaster Layers from Excavations at Saqqara Area

e-conservation magazine (Hussein Hassan M.H. Mahmoud)

The entire article is available at the above page.

Examination of Some Inorganic Pigments and Plaster Layers from Excavations at Saqqara Area, Egypt. Optical microscopy and SEM-EDS microanalysis.

By Hussein Hassan M.H. Mahmoud


This work aims to establish an analytical database of some painted plasters dating back to the 19th dynasty (1314-1304 BC) and recently discovered during the excavations of Cairo University at Saqqara area in Egypt. Appropriate representative samples were carefully chosen and collected from areas that had no aesthetic value or that were seriously damaged. In order to identify the stratigraphy, pigment particle size and texture of the paint layers, polished cross-sections of samples were analyzed by optical microscopy (OM). Scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray analysis system (SEM-EDS) showed the elemental microanalysis of the various materials used in construction of these paintings. The obtained results revealed the characterization of some inorganic pigments and plaster layers used in this period of the Egyptian history.

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