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Minerals 2018, 8(4), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8040134

Non-Destructive Multi-Analytical Approach to Study the Pigments of Wall Painting Fragments Reused in Mortars from the Archaeological Site of Pompeii (Italy)

1
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, Università della Calabria, via P. Bucci Cubo 12B, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
2
Applied Research Laboratory of Archeological Park of Pompeii, via Plinio 4, 80045 Pompeii, NA, Italy
3
General Director of Archeological Park of Pompeii, via Plinio 4, 80045 Pompeii, NA, Italy
4
Laboratoire AOrOc Archéologie et Philologie d’Orient et d’Occident-UMR 8546, Ecole Normale Supérieure—PSL, 45 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris, France
5
ERAAUB, Departament de Prehistòria i Arqueologia, Universitat de Barcelona, c. Montealegre 6-8, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
6
Technical planning secretariat of the Archeological Park of Pompeii, via Villa dei Misteri 2, 80045 Pompei, NA, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogical Applications for Cultural Heritage)
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Abstract

During the excavations carried out in Via di Mercurio (Regio VI, 9, 3) in Pompeii, in 2015, some red, green, black, and brown wall painting fragments were found in the preparatory layer of an ancient pavement which was probably built after the 62 AD earthquake. These fragments, derived from the rubble, were used as coarse aggregate to prepare the mortar for building the pavement. The wall painting fragments are exceptionally well preserved, which is an uncommon occurrence in the city of Pompeii. However, as they were enclosed in the mortar, the wall painting fragments were protected from the high temperatures (probably ranging between 180 °C and 380 °C) produced by the eruption in 79 AD. The pigmented outer surface of each sample was analyzed using a non-destructive multi-analytical approach, by combining spectrophotometric colorimetry and portable X-ray fluorescence with micro-Raman spectroscopy. The compositional characterization of the samples revealed the presence of cuprorivaite, goethite, and celadonite in the green pigments; hematite in the red pigments; goethite in the brown pigment; and charcoal in the black pigment. These data probably provide us with the most “faithful picture” of the various red, green, black, and brown pigments used in Pompeii prior to the 79 AD eruption. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-Raman spectroscopy; portable XRF; colorimetry; hematite; cuprorivaite; celadonite; goethite micro-Raman spectroscopy; portable XRF; colorimetry; hematite; cuprorivaite; celadonite; goethite
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Miriello, D.; Bloise, A.; Crisci, G.M.; De Luca, R.; De Nigris, B.; Martellone, A.; Osanna, M.; Pace, R.; Pecci, A.; Ruggieri, N. Non-Destructive Multi-Analytical Approach to Study the Pigments of Wall Painting Fragments Reused in Mortars from the Archaeological Site of Pompeii (Italy). Minerals 2018, 8, 134.

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