Egyptian Polychrome Analysis

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Abstract This paper describes the deterioration and preservation of an Ancient Egyptian polychrome wooden coffin, dating back to the 1st century. Common deterioration problems are the wood splitting and cracking, detachment of ground and paint layers, fungal damage, dirt adhesion and staining. The project entails securing the severely damaged wood, preparation of lime layer, the painting layer, and paint layer to a substrate, by consolidation, cleaning, dust removal and treatment of the degraded wood. Qualitative analysis of samples selected from the coffin, was reported. Studies that includes the identification of wood species, ground layer, paint layer, binding medium and microbiological identification were made. Several analytical methods…show more content…
The ground layer of the coffin consists of two layers, the rough layer which covered the wood directly with thickness approximately 3mm and fine layer used under the pigments directly with thickness approximately 30μm (Fig. 3A). It was dirty white in color and of fairly grainy texture covers the wood on all surfaces. This ground material which presumably mixed with adhesive binder was applied as a very thin wash on all surfaces except the exterior of the top, where it is significantly thicker and contributes to the modeling of the shape. The ground material was also used to build up areas such as the nose and knees. Shrinkage of the wood beneath this ground layer was resulted in many cavities and detached areas of the painted plaster from the wooden support (Fig. 4C), in some area the painting layer was entirely lost (Fig. 4D). The fragile layer is extremely susceptible to further flaking and chipping…show more content…
These results showed that the preparation layer is a mixture of lime (CaO) and sand (SiO2). The presences of S essentially owed to the pollution of sulphure dioxide. The occurrence of Na and Cl are indicative of the existence of halite (NaCl), whose presence is due to materials used in the ground layer or moisture. The presence of aluminum oxide and potassium oxide are from dust. The presence of MgO owed to limestone which had been used in makes lime. The presence of Fe is essentially owed to painted layer. Finally presence of Ti and Sr are sign of the organic rest. The EDX analysis of many places in the underneath colored layer showed the fine layer contains high percentage of CaO, SiO2 as the main elements. In addition to ZnO (zincite), indicating that the preparation layer is a mixture of lime, sand and zincite. The XRD analysis confirmed that, the inner coarse ground layer contain mainly calcite (CaCO3) mixed with quartz (SiO2). Spectrum of XRD shows that the materials composition of the fine ground

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