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Book Sections Year : 2014

Synchrotron Methods: Color in Paints and Minerals


The colors of archaeomaterials provide important insights into ancient human activities, technologies, capabilities, symbols, and craftsmanship, making the study of color an important aspect of archaeological, art historical, and historical research. The color origins of archaeomaterials are usually related to major but also minor or trace elements, or minor components, in a particular chemical environment. However, the color can be changed over time due to alteration phenomena. Hence, the analysis of these archaeomaterials requires very sensitive and noninvasive methods. In addition to the direct measurement of color, other physicochemical methods, such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy, are well suited to study the colors in these archaeomaterials. Here, the authors present an overview of the methods most commonly used to study these materials. The pigments, paints, and minerals that are of particular importance in the study of cultural heritage are summarized and present a historical overview of the archaeometric study of such materials presented. In conclusion, several case studies are presented illustrating the potential of such studies to further inform our understanding of ancient human societies.
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Dates and versions

halsde-00934248 , version 1 (21-01-2014)


  • HAL Id : halsde-00934248 , version 1


Ina Reiche, Emilie Chalmin. Synchrotron Methods: Color in Paints and Minerals. Treatrise in geochemistry, Thure Cerling, pp. 209-239, 2014. ⟨halsde-00934248⟩
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