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

  • chair:

    Debastiani, R. / Simon, R. / Goettlicher, J. / Heissler, S. / Steininger, R. / Batchelor, D. / Fiederle, M. / Baumbach, T. (2016) 

  • place:

    Appl. Phys. A (2016) 122: 871, 1-12, doi:10.1007/s00339-016-0400-5 

  • Date: September 2016


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.