Anatase�a pigment in ancient artwork or a modern usurper?

Edwards, Howell G. M.; Nik Hassan, Nik F.; Middleton, Paul S.
March 2006
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2006, Vol. 384 Issue 6, p1356
Academic Journal
Fragments of wall-paintings from Roman villas in Easton Maudit, which date from ca 150 AD have been studied by Raman spectroscopy. An intact ancient Roman paint pot discovered in the remains of a villa in Castor, Cambridgeshire, still containing a mixture of white and red pigment was also analysed and the pigments identified as haematite and anatase. The discovery of anatase in the intact artist�s paint pot, particularly, and also on fragments of broken paint pots from the Easton Maudit villa site, is a unique contribution to current knowledge of ancient European pigment history, because the presence of this mineral has not hitherto been recognised fully in an ancient artist�s palette. The relative spectral response of anatase and haematite in the Raman data is compared with that of anatase and other red pigments such as minium, cinnabar, and litharge.


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