Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Microprobe makeover for museum's mummy

"THE CSIRO has teamed up with the National Gallery of Victoria to reconstruct and conserve the last resting place of a teenage Egyptian priestess who died around 700BC.The coffin lid, one of the first major Egyptian antiquities to arrive in Australia, is in a fragile state. About 60 per cent of the wood, and even more of its painted surface, are lost, but the original bright colours on the remaining pieces survive under layers of dirt – gallery officials think. . . . CSIRO scientist Deborah Lau said the agency would use a CSIRO-enhanced microprobe to examine microscopic pieces of paint flakes to check the distribution and identity of the pigment, checking whether the outer layers have changed from the original". See the article for more about the mummy and the technique.

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