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Issue 3, 1997
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Micro and Surface Analysis in Art and Archaeology


A variety of instrumental analytical techniques can be applied to the physical and chemical examination of works of art and archaeology. In this paper, a few examples are discussed of the application of micro-analytical chemistry in this interdisciplinary field. The following subjects from the experience of our laboratory, in collaboration with several specialized institutes, were selected: Early Bronze Age ceramic crucibles, residues and powders from Göltepe, South Central Turkey, have been analysed using surface analytical techniques to investigate potential evidence of tin smelting. The study indicates that the crucibles were used for processing of tin and gives clear evidence of a local tin industry. Roman glass from a collection of objects discovered in Qumrân near the Dead Sea was used to study the corrosion of glass objects in a particularly stable environment over a period of nearly 2000 years. The corrosion of a series of glass-in-lead windows from St. Michael and St. Goedele’s Cathedral, Brussels, was studied using electron probe microanalysis and micro X-ray fluorescence. New views can be formulated on the corrosion mechanism, which appears to be a complex multiphase process under the influence of atmospheric pollution. A few preliminary results are discussed for the analysis of glass paintings, in particular carnation red glass paints.

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Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/A606091I
J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 1997,12, 257-265

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    Micro and Surface Analysis in Art and Archaeology

    F. ADAMS, A. ADRIAENS, A. AERTS, I. DE RAEDT, K. JANSSENS and O. SCHALM, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 1997, 12, 257
    DOI: 10.1039/A606091I

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