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Gupta S.P.,Archaeological Survey of India
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2011

Chhattisgarh is a land of ancient culture, with many ancient monuments, temples and forts. Every nook and corner of Chhattisgarh has traditional heritage. There are numerous factors that affect the durability of stone. Stone surfaces are continuously exposed to physical, chemical and biological degradation. Physical, chemical, and biological agents act in coassociation, ranging from synergistic to antagonistic and leading to deterioration. Among biological agents, micro-organisms are of critical importance in stone deterioration. They can cause various damages on the stone surface. Biodeterioration processes result from complex interactions of surface-invading microbes with each other, as well as with the surface material. The ability of fungi to produce pigments and organic acids is crucial for the discoloration and degradation of monuments. Air acts as a vehicle for the dispersion of microorganisms. They are introduced into air from different sources: soil, water, organic waste, plant leaves, sneezes and cough. This investigation focuses on the scientific conservation of The Sita Devi Temple of Deorbija DistricDurg, [Chhattisgarh]. The stone surface of the temple grew dark due to deposits of dust, dirt, dried vegetation and the growth of micro vegetation on the exterior as well as the interior portions.


Gupta S.P.,Archaeological Survey of India
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2013

Thirteen species of fungi were obtained out of ten samples (five samples of each monument) collected from various places of stone structures of the monuments. Aspergillus fumigatus Fr.species are found in all samples and their percentage frequency is very high. Aspergillus fumigatus Fr., Aspergillus terreus Thom. And Aspergillus flavus fungal species are common on stone of the monument. There should be given priority to the characteristic features of stone structures, their different forms, designs and materials in finding the cause(s) of their degradation and deterioration) This study infers that in the degradation and deterioration of stone there is equal contribution by microbes and the design of stone structures. Hence the nature of the substrate, the relation between substrate and organism, the relation between the design and growth of organism, their frequency distribution are essential components in stone monument preservation interventions.


Gupta S.P.,Archaeological Survey of India
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2011

Consolidation treatments on cultural heritage assets have been performed for more than 20 years. However, very few studies on the employed products and methods have been done. The main purpose of the present study was to analyze the changes of physical properties in freshly quarried and in deteriorated stone, after a consolidation treatment with tetraethoxysilane. For this purpose we performed measurements of sorption (absorption of water and adsorption of solid particles on the stone surface), gas adsorption and ultrasonic velocity. The study implies that a consolidation treatment will improve the physical properties of deteriorated stone and have a satisfactory effect, if that treatment is performed in a correct way and the stone is allowed to absorb consolidation liquid until saturation. For badly deteriorated stone two consolidation treatments seem to be sufficient; a third application probably does not improve the physical properties of the stone. It was observed that treatments carried out 10 to 15 years ago still have the intended strengthening effect on the stone. In most cases, if stone remains exposed to water, the consolidating treatment ensures only a 5 to 10 years protecting effect; after that the treatment needs to be repeated. However, the long-term effects and efficacy of periodically repeated consolidation treatments of stone need to be studied further, before such a procedure can be recommended as standard procedure. We also present a suggestion for a preventive consolidation of freshly quarried stone used to replace damaged parts.


Ravindran T.R.,Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research | Arora A.K.,Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research | Singh M.,Archaeological Survey of India Maharashtra | Ota S.B.,Archaeological Survey of India
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy | Year: 2013

Rock-shelter paintings of Bhimbetka world-heritage site near Bhopal, India have been investigated using a portable Raman spectrometer. These paintings in the rock shelters belong to periods starting from pre-historic to the 19th century AD (Gond period). In addition, tiny fragments of pigments (100-200 μm in size) extracted from some of the artworks were also studied in laboratory using a micro-Raman spectrometer and analyzed using energy-dispersive X-ray analysis for elemental composition. Based on the Raman spectra and the elemental analysis mineral-based pigments such as calcite, gypsum, hematite, whewellite, and goethite could be identified. A comparison of the spectra recorded on-site using a light-weight portable spectrometer with those using laboratory equipment is also made and discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Ganjoo R.K.,Jammu University | Ota S.B.,Archaeological Survey of India
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

Prehistoric sites are reported from the entire length and breadth of India. Most of these are surface sites, and invite less attention and significance compared to the few sites that are buried. The systematic excavation of prehistoric sites has contributed to the understanding of typo-technological evolution in the backdrop of time and space. However, the early artifact bearing sites in Himalaya beyond the Indo-Gangetic plains, although open-air sites, hold significance in terms of understanding the extent of human colonization in Himalaya in relation to climate. The sporadic evidence of early humans in the Siwalik ranges of Jammu and along the Indus River in the Leh valley undoubtedly confirm the advent of early humans to this geographical realm when most of the area had tectonically stabilized and the more-or less present day landscape and ecology had developed in the region, with ameliorated climate for early human settlement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Singh M.,Archaeological Survey of India | Arbad B.R.,Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2014

This paper is concerned with characterizing the components and materials of decorated earthen mortar in the rock cut caves of Ellora, using visual as well as instrumental techniques. Particle size analysis, XRD, microscopy, and thin section analysis techniques were applied to assess the mineral composition of the earthen support and local soil. The composition of the mud mortar was also characterized using scanning electron microscope, XRF, FTIR, and aggregate analysis of the components. Analytical examinations reveal use of surprisingly very little clay binder with coarse-grained silt loam to sandy loam local soil, probably sourced from alluvial deposits near the waterfall within cave complex, with identical mineralogical composition. The properties of high silt/sand and low clay raw soil have been modified by adding dolomitic lime to enhance its cementing characteristics. FTIR reveals the presence of proteinaceous materials in the mud mix as well as in the pigment layer. Aggregates such as glauconites and zeolites were identified in mortar mix along with vegetal matter. Entomological studies show the mud mortar to be contaminated with tiny insects like plaster beetles and bugs. The studies favor a holistic approach in the preparation of matching restoration mortar for optimizing quality and durability, and for greater compatibility with the original. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Singh M.,Archaeological Survey of India | Arbad B.R.,Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2014

Technological studies on Ajanta painted mortars (3rd-4th Century A.D) have been attempted for suitable preservation strategy and preparation of paint ground, identification of materials and their decay process. Microstructures of layers along with material structure, composition and additives used in the mortar were investigated through colorimetry, XRF, FTIR, SEMEDX, etc. Particle size of the clay mortar analyzed by laser scattering showed the use of high silt (70-75%) and low clay soil, probably sourced from the ravine of Waghura river and used for the preparation of the mud mortar. Byproducts of weathered basaltic rock, such as celandonite and white zeolites, bounded by organic proteic adhesive were found as filler in mud mortar as well. FTIR spectra of paint ground and pigment layer indicated the addition of organic binder that has now transformed into Calcium oxalate. In addition, the presence of vegetal matter observed with the FTIR analysis, might be due to addition of parts of cereals (such as the rice husk) cultivated in geographical area. SEM-EDX confirmed the presence of four different layers. The technique of painting remained almost identical in all the caves with very minor variation with respect to the ancient Indian painting art described in Indian old texts. An attempt to prepare mud mortar as per ancient recipe has been highlighted for the holistic restoration and preservation of Ajanta murals (World Heritage Site-WHS).


Singh M.,Archaeological Survey of India | Arbad B.R.,Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2015

Characterization of decorated earthen plaster has seldom been attempted in India. This paper provides a description of a recent characterization of mud plasters of decorated rock art in India's Ajanta caves by visual as well as instrumental techniques using polarizing microscope; laser scattering devise; sieve analysis; XRF, XRD, CHN, FTIR and SEM techniques on a few micro grams of plaster sample. The properties of high silt, (>75%) low clay (about 15%) plaster support layers seems to have been modified by deliberate addition of lime to enhance cementing characteristics. SEM and FTIR spectra of the plaster show inclusion of coarse black ferruginous silicate along with rarer glauconite-celadonite and zeolites probably bound together with proteic materials that have now transformed to calcium oxalate. XRD and SEM studies indicate that quartz and sepiolite have been added to enhance the performance of the plaster. The shrinkage property of the soil has also been modified by the addition of vegetal matter. ©2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Singh M.,Archaeological Survey of India | Vinodh Kumar S.,Archaeological Survey of India | Waghmare S.A.,Archaeological Survey of India
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2015

The historic decorative lime plasters of Ellora caves, dated back to 6-11th century A.D have been investigated for their mineralogical, micro-structure and chemical characterization. The analytical studies were performed by means of optical microscopy, XRF, laser particle size analyzer, FTIR, XRD, Raman Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope and thermal analyzer. Traditional lime plaster is applied in 2-3 layers above the host rock but interestingly the techniques differ at India's Ellora cave. From the analytical data it appears that all the lime plaster is composed of mixture of feebly dolomitic lime binder (aerial lime) mixed with fine to medium grained siliceous aggregates with addition of Cannabis sativa (Canabeacease) as an organic filler. The finding indicates that hempcrete technology was known to the ancient Indians in 6th century A.D and probably this is the first authentic report about the use of cannabis as filler in ancient lime plaster. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


News Article | October 27, 2016
Site: www.newscientist.com

Taj Ma-help. Pollution from open rubbish fires is turning India’s iconic white marble monument brown, leading to calls for better waste management. Door-to-door waste collection in Agra, the city where the Taj Mahal is located, often bypasses poor neighbourhoods. As a result, many households burn food scraps, paper and other rubbish in the street. A recent study by Sachchida Tripathi at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and his colleagues found that waste burning in Agra deposits 150 milligrams of fine pollution particles per square metre of the Taj Mahal annually. This may explain why other interventions to reduce discolouration have had little impact. In 1996, for example, India restricted vehicle access near the monument and took steps to reduce industrial emissions. Last year, the use of cow dung as a cooking fuel was banned. But still the marble continues to darken. The study found that the impact of open rubbish on the Taj Mahal is 12 times that of dung cake burning, but didn’t compare it with other pollution sources. Cleaners are using “mud packs” which draw out impurities to eliminate the marble’s brown stains. But the Archaeological Survey of India – the country’s archaeological research body – recently warned that this could permanently alter the colour, texture and shine of the surface. Preventing staining in the first place is a better strategy, says Tripathi. Introducing low-emission household incinerators and organising regular waste pick-ups are possible solutions, he says. These interventions could also significantly improve public health. The study estimated that inhalation of fine particles from rubbish fires causes 713 premature deaths in Agra each year, based on the established link between air pollution and cardiovascular and respiratory disease. “When you live in a developed country, you don’t think about air pollution too much because you look outside the window and it’s clear,” says Bin Jalaludin at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “But it’s increasingly becoming a problem in megacities in India and China where there is a constant haze, so governments are taking notice.”

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