Applied Physics A

, 122:871 | Cite as

Identification of green pigments from fragments of Roman mural paintings of three Roman sites from north of Germania Superior

  • Rafaela Debastiani
  • Rolf Simon
  • Joerg Goettlicher
  • Stefan Heissler
  • Ralph Steininger
  • David Batchelor
  • Michael Fiederle
  • Tilo Baumbach
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Innovation in Art Research and Technology


Roman mural green pigment painting fragments from three Roman sites in the north of the Roman province Germania Superior: Koblenz Stadtwald Remstecken (KOSR), Weißenthurm “Am guten Mann” (WEIS) and Mendig Lungenkärchen (MELU), dating from second and third centuries AD were analyzed. The experiments were performed nondestructively using synchrotron-based scanning macro-X-ray fluorescence (SR-MA-XRF), synchrotron-based scanning micro-X-ray fluorescence (SR-μ-XRF), synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (SR-XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. Correlation between SR-MA-XRF, SR-μ-XRF elemental map distributions and optical images of scanned areas was mainly found for the elements Ca, Fe and K. With XRF, Fe and K were identified correlated with green pigment, but in samples from two sites, Mendig Lungenkärchen and Weißenthurm “Am guten Mann”, also Cu was detected in minor concentration. The results of SR-XRD and Raman spectroscopy were limited to one sample from Weißenthurm “Am guten Mann”. In this sample, green earth and calcium carbonate were identified by SR-XRD and, additionally, malachite by Raman spectroscopy.


Malachite Yellow Pigment White Pigment Green Pigment Green Earth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe (GDKE) for providing the fragments for this study, Markus Meinen and Peter Henrich for the support. Ralf Lang and Wolfgang Möck provided technical support at the beamline. Beamtime at ANKA Synchrotron Radiation Facility is acknowledged. R. Debastiani also thanks CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-Brazil) for the scholarship number 202311/2013-9.

Supplementary material

339_2016_400_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (405 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 405 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ANKA-IBPT/IPSKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)Eggenstein-LeopoldshafenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Environment and Natural ResourcesUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF)University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)Eggenstein-LeopoldshafenGermany

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