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Characterization of Pigments Used in Ancient Egypt

Abstract

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods have been used extensively to study the chemical compositions and crystal structures of monuments, respectively, especially to characterize pigments used in ancient Egypt. Recent investigations of ancient Egyptian pigments by these methods are reviewed here. These investigations were performed by the author and his collaborators on several tens of fragments in the laboratory, and in the field on monuments exhibited in the Egyptian Museum and on tomb walls of Amenhotep III. Some fragments were excavated from ruins, and others were found within ancient tombs in Egypt. For field experiments, portable X-ray instruments were used: XRF, XRD, and energy dispersive X-ray diffraction and fluorescence. The latter two instruments were specially designed and produced for these investigations by the author and his collaborators. Experimental results obtained in the laboratory were very important in creating optimum experimental conditions in the field and were used very effectively for prompt analysis of observed data in the field.

Keywords

pigment X-rays XRF XDR ED-XRDF Egypt Amenhotep III tomb wall huntite calcite anhydrite hematite goethite realgar orpiment Egyptian blue Amarna blue 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Uda
    • 1
  1. 1.Waseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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