Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Morsch S.,University of Manchester | Van Driel B.A.,Rijksmuseum | Van Driel B.A.,Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands | Van Driel B.A.,Technical University of Delft | And 2 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2017

As linseed oil has a longstanding and continuing history of use as a binder in artistic paints, developing an understanding of its degradation mechanism is critical to conservation efforts. At present, little can be done to detect the early stages of oil paint deterioration due to the complex chemical composition of degrading paints. In this work, we use advanced infrared analysis techniques to investigate the UV-induced deterioration of model linseed oil paints in detail. Subdiffraction limit infrared analysis (AFM-IR) is applied to identify and map accelerated degradation in the presence of two different grades of titanium white pigment particles (rutile or anatase TiO2). Differentiation between the degradation of these two formulations demonstrates the sensitivity of this approach. The identification of characteristic peaks and transient species residing at the paint surface allows infrared absorbance peaks related to degradation deeper in the film to be extricated from conventional ATR-FTIR spectra, potentially opening up a new approach to degradation monitoring. © 2017 American Chemical Society.


Rensink E.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2017

Numerous archaeological investigations have been performed along the river Meuse in the Netherlands’ southeastern province of Limburg as part of the major ‘Maaswerken’ infrastructural project. To improve flood risk management and navigability, and for the purpose of gravel production and nature development, several areas of land covering a total of almost 2000 ha are being excavated to a great depth. In anticipation of this, archaeological research was performed for the purposes of recording and documenting archaeological remains in the most important areas and locations. From 1998 to 2015 the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Amersfoort) was in charge of the investigations, and acted as adviser to national public works agency Rijkswaterstaat. The archaeological research connected with the Maaswerken project differed from regular, site-based investigations in terms of the landscape archaeology perspective on which it was based. The research themes and principles associated with this perspective were published in several documents, including a scientific policy plan published in 2004, and presented in further detail in area programmes and project briefs. The policy plan assigned each project area to one of five value assessment categories, based on the intactness of the landscape and the archaeological potential for addressing the research questions. In areas of high landscape intactness and great archaeological potential (category 1) the Agency selected zones to be surveyed and assessed, and for archaeological excavation. Though most of the fieldwork, including specialist analysis, was performed in these zones, other category project areas have also been the subject of archaeological fieldwork, including borehole surveys, site-oriented research and watching briefs, but on a more incidental basis. Observations were also made in the river Meuse itself and in the river's winter bed. The archaeological investigations resulted in a large number of standard reports of desk studies and fieldwork, including reports of specialist analyses. A considerable proportion of these refer to the large-scale investigations at Borgharen and Itteren to the north of Maastricht, and at Lomm and Well–Aijen to the north of Venlo. The results of the investigations suggest the archaeological record here is rich and varied, with a time depth of c. 11,500 years, and traces of occupation and land use ranging from the Early Mesolithic (Well–Aijen, Borgharen) to the Second World War (Lomm). This paper reflects on almost 20 years of archaeological research in the project areas of the Maaswerken and on the principles and methods used in the field research. The common thread is the results of landscape and archaeological studies and the relationship between them. Examples are used to illustrate results that can be regarded as important from a national perspective, and in terms of archaeological heritage management. Copyright © Netherlands Journal of Geosciences Foundation 2017


Susperregi J.,Arkeolan Foundation | Jansma E.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Jansma E.,University Utrecht
Tree-Ring Research | Year: 2017

Dendroarchaeology in the Basque country is directed at improving our understanding of the cultural heritage preserved in, or originating from, northwestern Spain. To this end the emphasis is on the compilation of absolutely-dated tree-ring chronologies that can serve as a reference for accurately dating ancient structures such as buildings and shipwrecks. The current study focuses on 41 samples from radially-split oak planks that were mostly stored for reuse in a carpentry workshop in this region. The general consensus among historians is that these planks, and hence the buildings they are part of, date from the 15th and 16th Centuries. Our results show that the trees from which the planks were derived were cut down in the 15th to 19th Centuries, thus refuting this narrow time frame. The similarity of the planks' growth patterns to the annual variations of Basque chronology ARAB4 (AD 1277-1819), which we reworked slightly and renamed ARAB8, confirms that this chronology is well-suited for establishing the age of timbers preserved in the cultural heritage in this region. The inclusion of the new series into ARAB8 significantly improves the replication of this master chronology from ca. AD 1300 onwards and extends it forward to AD 1849. © 2017 by The Tree-Ring Society.


Brokerhof A.W.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Bulow A.E.,British Museum
Journal of the Institute of Conservation | Year: 2016

Over the past two decades a number of heritage institutions have conducted different forms of risk assessments. Despite the generally agreed profound changes such assessments make to an organization's approach to the care of its collection, there remains a general apprehension concerning the significant effort required to execute such an assessment. This paper describes the development of the QuiskScan, a quick risk scan, which yields an overview over a collection, its values and vulnerabilities with comparatively little effort. The QuiskScan uses a matrix-based approach to map value and vulnerability to the agents of deterioration for different collection units to highlight where significant losses to the collection might occur. Like other risk assessment approaches the QuiskScan involves expert input from across the organization thus helping to create a shared insight into the collection, and an institutional awareness of risks. The method should be regarded as a tool that fits in between relying on best practice and conducting a comprehensive risk assessment.


Joordens J.C.A.,Leiden University | Joordens J.C.A.,VU University Amsterdam | D'Errico F.,French National Center for Scientific Research | D'Errico F.,University of Bergen | And 23 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

The manufacture of geometric engravings is generally interpreted as indicative of modern cognition and behaviour. Key questions in the debate on the origin of such behaviour are whether this innovation is restricted to Homo sapiens, and whether it has a uniquely African origin. Here we report on a fossil freshwater shell assemblage from the Hauptknochenschicht ('main bone layer') of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the type locality of Homo erectus discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891 (refs 2 and 3). In the Dubois collection (in the Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands) we found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins, one unambiguous shell tool, and a shell with a geometric engraving. We dated sediment contained in the shells with 40 Ar/ 39 Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years. This implies that the Trinil Hauptknochenschicht is younger than previously estimated. Together, our data indicate that the engraving was made by Homo erectus, and that it is considerably older than the oldest geometric engravings described so far. Although it is at present not possible to assess the function or meaning of the engraved shell, this discovery suggests that engraving abstract patterns was in the realm of Asian Homo erectus cognition and neuromotor control. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Pozzi F.,School of the Art Institute of Chicago | Van Den Berg K.J.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Fiedler I.,School of the Art Institute of Chicago | Casadio F.,School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy | Year: 2014

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) owns one of the largest and very finest collections of 19th century French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. While the palette of the Impressionists has been extensively characterized for what concerns both traditional and innovative inorganic pigments, to date, the identification of the red organic lakes - widely used for their intense, brilliant color - has posed an analytical challenge. In this work, firstly, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy has been applied to the analysis of red lake paint reconstructions prepared according to 19th century historical recipes. Results demonstrated that dye identification can be successfully accomplished on Lee-Meisel colloids after hydrolysis with hydrofluoric acid, even when inorganic pigments, extenders, ground materials or binding media are associated with the red lake in the sample analyzed. Subsequently, the same protocol was used to examine samples from Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Monet and Gauguin paintings in the AIC collection. Results showed the predominant use of madder and cochineal lakes, sometimes in combination, thus greatly enhancing our knowledge of the Impressionist usage of different types of red lakes. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Pereira C.,New University of Lisbon | Busani T.,New University of Lisbon | Branco L.C.,New University of Lisbon | Joosten I.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Anca Sandu I.C.,New University of Lisbon
Microscopy and Microanalysis | Year: 2013

This work establishes a multiscale and multitechnique nondestructive approach as valid methodology for monitoring surface properties and evaluating the effectiveness of enzymatic removal of varnishes from paintings/polychrome artefacts. Mock-up samples (documented reconstructions of oil, tempera, and gilded layers on canvas and wooden supports) were covered with different proteinaceous varnishes (egg white, animal and fish glue, casein) and then characterized before and after the removal of these coatings with enzyme-based solutions. The varnish was cleaned in several steps (two dry swabs and two wet swabs) with a clearance step for removing the residues from proteinaceous varnish or from enzyme solution. Microscopy [stereomicroscopy (SM), optical microscopy (OM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)] and colorimetric (CIE L*a*b* system) techniques were used for characterization of the reconstruction surfaces at different scales (macro-scale by SM and OM; micro-scale by SEM and nano-scale by AFM). These techniques were also used to monitor the cleaning treatment. Although results presented in this work were obtained for the specific treatment of enzyme removal, the methodology could be extended to other types of materials and cleaning. Further experiments on real works of art are needed for a complete validation of the methodology. Copyright © 2013 Microscopy Society of America.


van Lanen R.J.,University Utrecht | van Lanen R.J.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Kosian M.C.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Groenewoudt B.J.,Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | And 2 more authors.
Geoarchaeology | Year: 2015

This study focuses on reconstructing landscape prerequisites for Roman and early-medieval routes in the Netherlands. We applied spatial modeling to modern and paleogeographical landscape data in order to determine geographical obstacles for possible translocation in ca. A.D. 100 and 800 via land and water. Network-friction values were calculated to produce a spatial model of possible movement corridors and to enable the integration of archaeological data. Results show that in geographically dynamic lowland regions such as the current Netherlands, landscape units such as water, peat, and levees must have had a high impact on route orientation. The lower parts of the western Netherlands were almost inaccessible by land, implying that its inhabitants largely must have depended on rivers and streams for transportation. In Dutch coastal and river areas, the landscape changed drastically between A.D. 100 and 800, the largest changes occurring along the coast. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | University of Amsterdam, University of Glasgow and Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
Type: | Journal: Journal of chromatography. A | Year: 2016

This research makes the first attempt to apply Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) coupled to both Photodiode Array detection (PDA) and Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (ESI-MS) to the chemical characterisation of common textile dyes in ancient China. Three different extraction methods, respectively involving dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-oxalic acid, DMSO and hydrochloric acid, are unprecedentedly applied together to achieve an in-depth understanding of the chemical composition of these dyes. The first LC-PDA-MS database of the chemical composition of common dyes in ancient China has been established. The phenomena of esterification and isomerisation of the dye constituents of gallnut, gardenia and saffron, and the dye composition of acorn cup dyed silk are clarified for the first time. 6-Hydroxyrubiadin and its glycosides are first reported on a dyed sample with Rubia cordifolia from China. UHPLC-PDA-ESI-MS with a C18 BEH shield column shows significant advantages in the separation and identification of similar dye constituents, particularly in the cases of analysing pagoda bud and turmeric dyed sample extracts.


PubMed | Technical University of Delft and Cultural heritage agency of the Netherlands
Type: | Journal: Spectrochimica acta. Part A, Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy | Year: 2016

Titanium white (TiO

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