Sunday, December 05, 2010

IR and UV Examination of Egyptian Papyrus

Brooklyn Museum Blog

Another installment in the excellent series from the Brooklyn Museum which gives a real insight into the detailed work carried out by museums. With photographs.

Following Rachel’s previous discussion on pigments and inks used in our Book of the Dead of the Goldworker of Amun, Sobekmose, I will begin here our discussion of the different examination and analytical techniques we employ in conservation and the ones used on this object in particular. I will start with two imaging techniques: infrared reflectography and ultraviolet fluorescence photography.

We typically use traditional photography to record images of artifacts in the visible light spectrum; this way we record on a digital file that which the human eye can see (fig.1). However, this technique can provide only a limited amount of information, since the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is a very small portion (400-700nm) of the entire spectrum. By eliminating the visible light using barrier filters, we are able to record images that the unaided human eye could not detect.

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