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Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 January 2024) | Viewed by 17811

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CNR-ISPC (Institute of Heritage Science), 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: cultural heritage; stone materials; chemical-mineralogical, petrophysical, and mechanical characterization; archaeometric study; durability and mechanisms of decay; diagnosis and research of correlations between DT and NDT; products and methods for stone conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
CNR-SPIN (SuPerconducting and Other INnovative Materials and Devices Institute), 84084 Fisciano, SA, Italy
Interests: nanomaterials; multifunctional coatings; durability of polymers; construction materials; stone conservation; cultural heritage; eco-efficient materials for sustainable constructions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue intends to provide an international, open-access forum for archaeologists and scientists with different scientific backgrounds who share a common interest in developing and applying advanced materials and methods to archaeology and heritage research, in the context of heritage science. Heritage science is an interdisciplinary research domain that is rapidly expanding. It crosses arts, humanities, and sciences to address the study of cultural heritage in terms of enhanced understanding and preservation, as well as sustainable use and management. Significant advances in heritage-related research have come from the increasing contributions of scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, mechanics, engineering, and computer science, to the analysis and investigation of cultural heritage assets.

Throughout the years, many analytical techniques have been developed for cultural heritage studies and, currently, a large spectrum of advanced technologies, especially material technologies, can be applied to archaeology and heritage buildings. These technologies are able to respond to archaeometry issues (e.g., dating, provenancing, and attribution) and help us to better understand material behavior under the exposure contexts, in order to support conservation interventions and preventive strategies. For example, a variety of spectroscopic techniques, e.g., Raman, X-ray fluorescence or absorption, high-resolution GC-MS, etc., are applied at an increasing rate to investigate the organic/inorganic materials of archaeological objects or artworks such as ceramics, potteries, glasses, organic and inorganic pigments, and their degradation products, binding media, varnishes, conservation treatments, etc. Many of the currently available analytical techniques allow investigations in non-destructive or microdestructive ways, often providing a digital mapping of the investigated parameters, and have also been implemented in portable configurations, making possible in situ noninvasive investigations. On the other hand, thanks to new material technologies, advanced coatings for the protection of stone materials have been developed.

We welcome the submission of original manuscripts including but not limited to the following topics:

  • The investigation of raw materials and production methods of past technologies, such as ceramics, potteries, painted plasters and ancient marble artifacts, etc.;
  • The characterization of building surface finishing levels or patinas;
  • The analysis of residues in archaeological remains;
  • The non-destructive or microdestructive analysis of cultural heritage materials such as stones, mortars and plasters, ancient ceramics, potteries, glasses, and wall paintings;
  • Integrated investigations and analyses of materials’ behavior in relation to aging and decay affecting artifacts over time;
  • The identification of surface conservation treatments used over recent decades and their residual characteristics and performance;
  • Heritage building protection to face climate changes and urban pollution effects.

Manuscripts on the applications of innovative stone surface coating materials or advanced technologies in the protection of heritage buildings are especially welcomed.

Dr. Angela Calia
Dr. Mariateresa Lettieri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • archaeology and heritage buildings
  • material characterization
  • non-destructive or microdestructive analysis of cultural heritage stone, marbles, plasters, ceramics, potteries, and glasses
  • non-destructive techniques for surface characterization
  • residue analysis
  • investigation of raw materials and production methods of ancient technologies
  • investigation of weathering effects
  • material conservation technologies
  • heritage building protection

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 3695 KiB  
Article
Petrophysical Analyses of Rock Construction Materials from a Roman Rural Settlement in Podšilo Bay on Rab Island (North-East Adriatic, Croatia)
by Jerzy Trzciński, Emilia Wójcik, Kamil Kiełbasiński, Paweł Łukaszewski, Małgorzata Zaremba, Łukasz Kaczmarek, Robert Dziedziczak, Jakub Kotowski, Ana Konestra, Fabian Welc, Tomasz Wejrzanowski and Jakub Jaroszewicz
Materials 2024, 17(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17020359 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 607
Abstract
This article presents the results of petrophysical analyses of limestones and sandstones used for the construction of the wall structures of a Roman rural settlement located in Podšilo Bay on Rab Island (Croatia). An on-site analysis of the walls indicated the use of [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of petrophysical analyses of limestones and sandstones used for the construction of the wall structures of a Roman rural settlement located in Podšilo Bay on Rab Island (Croatia). An on-site analysis of the walls indicated the use of different lithotypes, which is an uncommon case in the area. So far, no petrophysical properties of the applied materials have been tested, and their provenance has not been specified. The aim of this research was to determine their usability as construction materials in an attempt to determine the possible reasons behind the usage of multiple lithotypes and their suitability as building materials. The following procedure was used to address these issues: (1) determination of the petrographic characteristics of the rocks, (2) performance of tests to characterise the mechanical properties in a complex stress state of uniaxial tension followed by uniaxial and triaxial compression, and, finally, (3) determination of the internal structure of the rocks using methods based on X-ray imaging. Multi-proxy characteristics of the materials including numerous observations and methods were performed: optical microscopy used to characterise rock petrography and mineralogy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with EDS, as well as grinding tests; furthermore, mechanical properties were determined on cylindrical samples in accordance with European standards. X-ray microtomography using the XμCT method enabled microscopic observations and determination of the orientation of discontinuities and the rock structure. The performed analyses allowed us to distinguish three lithological types of sandstone and two types of limestone among the examined stone blocks. Stone blocks of fine- and medium-grained sandstone with carbonate binders, as well as sparitic limestone and mudstone with calcite veins, were used to build the studied structures. The analysed blocks showed traces of partial edge processing. Despite the defects in the material structure identified using XμCT, all the types of rock were characterised by high or very high strength. High values of longitudinal wave velocity confirmed the good quality of the material. These results contribute to a better understanding of the construction process and the related technological choices, and they provide the first dataset which can be used for the reconstruction of the building’s original appearance in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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14 pages, 2457 KiB  
Article
Influence Analysis of Polyvinyl Alcohol on the Degradation of Artificial Leather with Cellulose Nitrate Coating Originating from a Suitcase Stored in the Collection of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland
by Nel Jastrzębiowska, Anna Wawrzyk and Natalia Uroda
Materials 2023, 16(21), 7033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16217033 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 792
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of a protective layer of polyvinyl alcohol on the degradation process of artificial leather based on cellulose nitrate. Samples of the artificial leather were obtained from a suitcase dating back to the first [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of a protective layer of polyvinyl alcohol on the degradation process of artificial leather based on cellulose nitrate. Samples of the artificial leather were obtained from a suitcase dating back to the first half of the 20th century, not considered a historical artifact. The analysis involved Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Artificial aging was employed for the study. The artificial leather sample with a protective coating of polyvinyl alcohol on a cellulose nitrate base exhibited the lowest degree of degradation due to minimal chemical changes in cellulose esters. The obtained FTIR-ATR spectrum indicated significantly higher nitration of cellulose and, consequently, a lower degree of polymer degradation. The sample without the protective polyvinyl alcohol coating and the sample with the coating removed before artificial aging showed similar reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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20 pages, 23621 KiB  
Article
A Study of Repair Mortars for Restoration of Wall Painted Plasters in a Hypogeum Rock-Cut Church of Matera (Southern Italy)
by Manuel Giandomenico, Filippo Edoardo Capasso, Sokol Muca, Maria Carolina Gaetani, Giovanni Quarta, Sara Iafrate, Davide Melica and Angela Calia
Materials 2023, 16(16), 5715; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16165715 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Several lime mortars for the repair of painted plasters of the rock-cut church of Ss. Pietro and Paolo in Matera were studied. They were designed taking into account both aesthetic criteria that need to be fulfilled in the field of paintings restoration, and [...] Read more.
Several lime mortars for the repair of painted plasters of the rock-cut church of Ss. Pietro and Paolo in Matera were studied. They were designed taking into account both aesthetic criteria that need to be fulfilled in the field of paintings restoration, and physical–mechanical compatibility with the original materials on site, i.e., the pre-existing plasters and the supporting rock. Mixes with calcareous and silica aggregates, based on different grain size proportions, were prepared to fill missing portions of the original painted plaster. The effects of the mineralogical nature and size of the aggregates on the characteristics and properties of the mixes were investigated in relation to the microstructure, physical–mechanical features and resistance to salt ageing. At the end of the experimental campaign, the overall performance was evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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13 pages, 36972 KiB  
Article
Construction and Performance of Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Rusted Iron Artifacts
by Pei Hu, Minghao Jia, Hao Xu, Xiaogu Zhang, Dongbo Hu and Gang Hu
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062180 - 08 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Ancient iron artifacts need to be protected with a rust layer, often stabilized by tannic acid corrosion inhibition. In humid environments, water vapor could slowly penetrate and trigger galvanic corrosion of metal artefacts. Sealing treatments are generally applied to the artefact surface to [...] Read more.
Ancient iron artifacts need to be protected with a rust layer, often stabilized by tannic acid corrosion inhibition. In humid environments, water vapor could slowly penetrate and trigger galvanic corrosion of metal artefacts. Sealing treatments are generally applied to the artefact surface to isolate water and enhance its corrosion resistance. Superhydrophobic modifications could effectively block the penetration of moisture into the interior of the artefact and provide a nice water barrier. Stearic acid with tannic acid inhibition treatment creates a superhydrophobic protective layer on the surface of rusted iron artifacts and enhances corrosion resistance effectively. Various scientific analyses and testing methods are used in this paper to evaluate the corrosion resistance of rusted surfaces after superhydrophobic modification and investigate the reaction mechanisms. The results indicate that the contact angle of the rusted surface after corrosion inhibition by tannic acid and modified by stearic acid is increased to 152.2°, which means the superhydrophobic protective layer has been successfully constructed. The C/Fe ratio of the rusted surface is increased from 0.21 to 2.10, and the characteristic diffraction peaks of O1s and Fe 2p3/2 shift toward higher binding energy. Stearic acid is combined with the corrosion product layer by chemical bonding. Chelation between rust products, tannic acid, and steric acid is effective, and the chelate is chemically stable. The superhydrophobic surface forms a lamellar wax-like layer as an air barrier to isolate liquid water, resulting in a significant decrease in corrosion current and an increase in Warburg impedance to 217.9 times the original state, with a protection efficiency of 88.3%. Tannic acid corrosion inhibition and stearic acid superhydrophobic modification have an excellent synergistic protective effect on improving the corrosion resistance of iron artifacts, resulting in better corrosion resistance of iron artifact materials. The research provides new ideas and references for the protection of ancient iron artifacts sealing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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12 pages, 2578 KiB  
Article
From Virtual Reconstruction to Additive Manufacturing: Application of Advanced Technologies for the Integration of a 17th-Century Wooden Ciborium
by Daniela Rizzo, Daniela Fico, Francesco Montagna, Raffaele Casciaro and Carola Esposito Corcione
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041424 - 08 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
3D modelling and 3D printing techniques have become increasingly popular in different fields, including cultural heritage. In this field, there are still many challenges to overcome, such as the difficulty of faithfully reproducing complex geometries or finding materials suitable for restoration, due to [...] Read more.
3D modelling and 3D printing techniques have become increasingly popular in different fields, including cultural heritage. In this field, there are still many challenges to overcome, such as the difficulty of faithfully reproducing complex geometries or finding materials suitable for restoration, due to the limited scientific studies. This work proposes an example of the application of advanced technologies for the reproduction of four missing columns of a 17th century polychrome wooden ciborium. The difficulties of an automatic scan due to its reflective surface (water gilding and estofado decorations) were overcome by creating a 2D manual survey and a subsequent manual 3D redrawing. The CAD model was used to print the missing elements with fused filament fabrication (FFF) in polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG), using the following printing parameters: nozzle 0.4 mm, infill 20%, extrusion temperature of PLA 200 °C and of PETG 220 °C, plate temperature 50 °C, printing speed 60 mm/s, layer height 0.2 mm. The conservation and restoration of the ciborium is nearing completion. This study highlights the importance of collaboration between different professionals for the correct design of a restoration, as well as the need to promote scientific research into the development of new high-performance 3D printing materials suitable for conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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30 pages, 5498 KiB  
Article
Source of Raw Materials and Its Processing for the Manufacturing of Ptolemaic Faience Bowls from Tell Atrib (Nile Delta, Egypt)
by Jerzy Trzciński, Małgorzata Zaremba, Krzysztof Nejbert and Grzegorz Kaproń
Materials 2022, 15(18), 6251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15186251 - 08 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2326
Abstract
The provenance of siliceous grain material, the basic source of manufacturing faience items, is still a matter of discussion. The study methods applied so far have not brought satisfactory outcomes, and the results are ambiguous and problematic. Archaeological evidence has also not supplied [...] Read more.
The provenance of siliceous grain material, the basic source of manufacturing faience items, is still a matter of discussion. The study methods applied so far have not brought satisfactory outcomes, and the results are ambiguous and problematic. Archaeological evidence has also not supplied adequate proof for establishing the sites where the source material was obtained and the methods of its preparation. Therefore, we propose an interdisciplinary approach to solve these research problems. We explore selected material of 7 faience bowls precisely dated on the c. 100 years of the Ptolemaic Period in Egypt. The body and glaze of the faience bowls was qualitatively and quantitatively tested with regard to chemical and mineral composition, and selected material parameters. Based on structural-textural analysis, as well as chemical and mineral composition, the source area of the studied raw material and its potential excavation site was determined in the Eastern Desert. The obtained results were compared with locations of mines exploiting gold-bearing quartz veins, functioning in the Ptolemaic Period. Material parameters obtained from image analysis have been applied to reconstruct the processes of crushing and grinding of the quartz material and its further treatment for faience manufacturing. Quartz treatment was analysed with regard to tools and handling processes applied in Ptolemaic mines. We assume that such an approach has given accurate results in determining the provenance of siliceous material used in the Ptolemaic workshops of Athribis. Therefore, in material studies of artefacts produced in the antiquity, it is indispensable to use an interdisciplinary and complex approach, beginning from field studies and ending with detailed laboratory analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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26 pages, 11330 KiB  
Article
Distinguishing Genuine Imperial Qing Dynasty Porcelain from Ancient Replicas by On-Site Non-Invasive XRF and Raman Spectroscopy
by Philippe Colomban, Michele Gironda, Gulsu Simsek Franci and Pauline d’Abrigeon
Materials 2022, 15(16), 5747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165747 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2412
Abstract
The combined use of non-invasive on-site portable techniques, Raman microscopy, and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy on seven imperial bowls and two decorated dishes, attributed to the reigns of the Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, and Daoguang emperors (Qing Dynasty), allows the identification of the coloring agents/opacifiers [...] Read more.
The combined use of non-invasive on-site portable techniques, Raman microscopy, and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy on seven imperial bowls and two decorated dishes, attributed to the reigns of the Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, and Daoguang emperors (Qing Dynasty), allows the identification of the coloring agents/opacifiers and composition types of the glazes and painted enamels. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the elements used in the (blue) marks and those found in the blue, yellow, red, and honey/gilded backgrounds on which, or in reserve, a floral motif is principally drawn. The honey-colored background is made with gold nanoparticles associated with a lead- and arsenic-based flux. One of the red backgrounds is also based on gold nanoparticles, the second containing copper nanoparticles, both in lead-based silicate enamels like the blue and yellow backgrounds. Tin and arsenic are observed, but cassiterite (SnO2) is clearly observed in one of the painted decors (dish) and in A676 yellow, whereas lead (calcium/potassium) arsenate is identified in most of the enamels. Yellow color is achieved with Pb-Sn-Sb pyrochlore (Naples yellow) with various Sb contents, although green color is mainly based on lead-tin oxide mixed with blue enamel. The technical solutions appear very different from one object to another, which leads one to think that each bowl is really a unique object and not an item produced in small series. The visual examination of some marks shows that they were made in overglaze (A608, A616, A630, A672). It is obvious that different types of cobalt sources were used for the imprinting of the marks: cobalt rich in manganese for bowl A615 (Yongzheng reign), cobalt rich in arsenic for bowl A613 (but not the blue mark), cobalt with copper (A616), and cobalt rich in arsenic and copper (A672). Thus, we have a variety of cobalt sources/mixtures. The high purity of cobalt used for A677 bowl indicates a production after ~1830–1850. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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15 pages, 8640 KiB  
Article
In Situ Application of Anti-Fouling Solutions on a Mosaic of the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica
by Andrea Macchia, Hélène Aureli, Chiara Biribicchi, Antonella Docci, Chiara Alisi, Fernanda Prestileo, Francesco Galiano, Alberto Figoli, Raffaella Mancuso, Bartolo Gabriele and Mauro Francesco La Russa
Materials 2022, 15(16), 5671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165671 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Biodegradation is among the most common issues affecting Cultural Heritage stone materials in outdoor environments. In recent years, the application of chemical agents with biocidal activity has been the most usual practice when dealing with biofilm removal. In outdoor environments, the use of [...] Read more.
Biodegradation is among the most common issues affecting Cultural Heritage stone materials in outdoor environments. In recent years, the application of chemical agents with biocidal activity has been the most usual practice when dealing with biofilm removal. In outdoor environments, the use of these biocides is not effective enough, since the materials are constantly exposed to environmental agents and atmospheric pollutants. Thus, it becomes necessary to protect the surface of Cultural Heritage works with antimicrobial coatings to either prevent or at least limit future colonization. In this study, innovative biocides—both natural and synthetic—were applied on a Roman mosaic located in the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica to compare their effectiveness in removing the biological degradation affecting it. In addition, an antimicrobial coating called “SI-QUAT” was applied and analyzed in situ. SI-QUAT has recently entered the market for its prevention activity against biocolonization. The biocidal activity of these products was tested and monitored using different analytical portable instruments, such as the multispectral system, the spectrocolorimeter, and the bioluminometer. The analyses showed that promising results can be obtained using the combination of the biocide and the protective effect of Preventol® RI50 and SI-QUAT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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17 pages, 9569 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Analytical Approach to Investigate the Polychrome Clay Sculpture in Qinglian Temple of Jincheng, China
by Jingyi Shen, Li Li, Dandan Zhang, Shaohua Dong, Jiankai Xiang and Nuo Xu
Materials 2022, 15(16), 5470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165470 - 09 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1629
Abstract
This article presents an integrated analytical method to investigate the polychrome clay sculptures of the Qinglian Temple in Jincheng City, Shanxi Province, China. Digital microscopy, SEM-EDS, XRD, Herzberg stain, Micro-Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR were selected to identify the raw materials and techniques used [...] Read more.
This article presents an integrated analytical method to investigate the polychrome clay sculptures of the Qinglian Temple in Jincheng City, Shanxi Province, China. Digital microscopy, SEM-EDS, XRD, Herzberg stain, Micro-Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR were selected to identify the raw materials and techniques used to produce the ground clay layer, the white powder layer and the mineral pigment of the polychrome clay sculptures. The investigation shows that the clay used to make the coarse and fine clay layer is consistent. However, different kinds of fibres were found mixed in the coarse and fine clay layers: wheat straw was the main fibre used in coarse clay layer, while the bast fibres, including ramie, kenaf and sisal hemp, were used as the fibre supports in the fine clay layers due to their useful properties. The white powder layer was made of a mixture of kaolinite and gypsum. For the mineral pigments, it principally contained red (hematite, minium or a mixture of minium and cinnabar), green (atacamite and atacamite), blue (azurite), yellow (yellow ochre), black (amorphous carbon) and white (the mixture of kaolinite and gypsum). Additionally, a gilding technique and multiple paint layers also typified many pigment areas. This work has furthered understanding of the materials and techniques used in making the sculptures of the Qinglian Temple and has clear implications for the restoration and conservation treatments on these kinds of ancient painted clay sculptures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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10 pages, 12025 KiB  
Article
Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs): Preliminary Results for Their Use Such as Biocides in the Building Cultural Heritage
by Andrea Macchia, Romina Strangis, Sara De Angelis, Marica Cersosimo, Antonella Docci, Michela Ricca, Bartolo Gabriele, Raffaella Mancuso and Mauro Francesco La Russa
Materials 2022, 15(11), 4005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15114005 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2010
Abstract
Biodeterioration is an increasingly widespread process of degradation in the context of the conservation of cultural heritage, which involves a combination of physical and chemical damages together with an aesthetic alteration of materials. For biological damage on monuments caused by pathogens, macro- and [...] Read more.
Biodeterioration is an increasingly widespread process of degradation in the context of the conservation of cultural heritage, which involves a combination of physical and chemical damages together with an aesthetic alteration of materials. For biological damage on monuments caused by pathogens, macro- and microorganisms, chemical treatments are generally used, most of the time dangerous for the environment and for the operator. In this context, new eco-friendly products represent necessary tools for the treatment of biologically deteriorated stone surfaces and represent a new challenge in the field of restoration and conservation of materials of cultural interest. A relatively new class of unconventional green solvents are deep eutectic solvents (DESs), which have peculiar chemical-physical characteristics such as being non-toxic, ecological, biodegradable, non-flammable, and stable in the presence of water. Furthermore, many DESs known in the literature have also been shown to have a biocidal action. All these characteristics make DESs very advantageous and safe, and they could be used as biocidal agents for the treatment of biodegraded surfaces of cultural heritage, being non-toxic for the environment and for the operator. So far, they are used in various fields, but they still represent a novel frontier in the cultural heritage sector. The present research aims at testing five different DESs for the first time in cultural heritage. In particular, DESs are applied to a mosaic located in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park (Rome), and their efficiency is compared with a biocide product currently used in the restoration field, namely, Preventol RI50, through luminescence, bio-luminometry, and spectrocolorimetry analysis. The preliminary results achieved show the different behaviors of each DESs, highlighting the possibility of employing them in the field of cultural heritage. Further studies have been planned, some of which are already underway, to investigate the properties of DESs and indicate any improvements to make them more effective, both as solvents and as biocides, and easy to apply to various types of materials. The results obtained from this first study are very promising for the use of DES as a new green strategy for cleaning and conservation treatments of materials in the field of cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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14 pages, 5105 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Study of the Mural Paintings of Sotterra Church in Paola (Cosenza, Italy)
by Michela Ricca, Maria Francesca Alberghina, Negin Derakhshan Houreh, Aybuke Sultan Koca, Salvatore Schiavone, Mauro Francesco La Russa, Luciana Randazzo and Silvestro Antonio Ruffolo
Materials 2022, 15(9), 3411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093411 - 09 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
A multi-analytical approach was employed to study wall paintings located in the Sotterra church at Paola, in the province of Cosenza, Italy. The site is an underground church (hence the name of Sotterra, which means “under the earth”) rediscovered in the second half [...] Read more.
A multi-analytical approach was employed to study wall paintings located in the Sotterra church at Paola, in the province of Cosenza, Italy. The site is an underground church (hence the name of Sotterra, which means “under the earth”) rediscovered in the second half of the 19th century, during the building works of the Madonna del Carmine church on the same area. This underground church preserves valuable mural paintings having different styles. The construction’s dating and overlapped modifications made until the site was abandoned is also debated. A wall painting, depicting “The Virgin” as part of the “Annunciation and the Archangel Gabriel” present on the opposite side of the apse, was selected and investigated using both in situ and laboratory-based analysis. Preliminarily, the non-destructive investigations involved several analytical techniques (IR imaging, UV-Induced Visible Fluorescence, and X-ray Fluorescence analyses) that provided mapping and characterization of pictorial layers and first data about deterioration phenomena. On the basis of this information, a more in-depth study was conducted on micro-fragments aimed at characterizing the stratigraphy and to identify the artist’s technique. Cross-sections were analysed using polarized optical microscopy and electron scanning microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to obtain morphological and chemical information on the selected pictorial micro-fragments of the wall painting. The results allowed to characterize the pigments and provide better readability of the whole figure, revealing details that are not visible to the naked eye, important for future historical-artistic and conservative studies. The results represent the first step of a systematic archaeometric research aimed at supporting the ongoing historical-stylistic studies to distinguish the different building phases hypothesized for this religious site which remained buried for three centuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
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