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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

Pichon L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Pierrat-Bonnefois G.,Musee du Louvre | De Campos P.,University of Sao Paulo | Re A.,University of Turin | Angelici D.,University of Turin
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2014

Lapis lazuli is among the earliest and most priced ornamental stone worked to produce carvings, beads and inlays as early as the 4th millennium BC. It is an heterogeneous rock composed of blue lazurite Na3Ca(Si 3Al3O12)S mixed with other minerals like calcite, diopside and pyrite. The historical source of lapis lazuli in antiquity is supposedly located in Afghanistan, in the Sar-e-Sang district, while other sources are known in Tajikistan and Russia (Baïkal area). This work focuses on the lapis-lazuli of the Egyptian treasure of Tôd dated from Middle Kingdom (20th c. BC). Deposited in four copper boxes, it consists of thousands of blocks of raw lapis lazuli, minute fragments, beads and carvings stylistically dated to various periods. This discovery raises the question of the use of lapis lazuli in ancient Egypt because there is no source of lapis in this country. In addition, most of the lapis lazuli artefacts are strongly weathered. The aim of this work is to understand the alteration process and to verify if its provenance can still be determined. A few artefacts were analysed using the new external microbeam line of the AGLAE facility of the C2RMF. The mineral phases were identified and corresponding trace elements (e.g. Ti, As, Ni, Ba) were ascribed using the quantitative PIXE elemental maps collected on the entire artefacts or on cross-sections. In parallel, the IBIL spectrum recorded for each point in the image provided an additional fingerprint of the luminescent phases, notably mineral species belonging to the cancrinite group. Most alteration products appeared to derive from the oxidation of the pyrite FeS2. It was observed that the alteration process extends to the core of most investigated artefacts. Despite such a strong alteration state, the chemical fingerprints recorded on the studied artefacts proved to be consistent with that of lapis lazuli from historical deposit of Badakshan, Afghanistan, previously investigated using the same μ-PIXE/μ-IBIL protocol. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Alberic M.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Alberic M.,CNRS Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology | Muller K.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Muller K.,CNRS Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology | And 3 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2015

Antique objects are known to have been brightly colored. However, the appearance of these objects has changed over time and paint traces are rarely preserved. The surface of ivory objects (8th century B.C., Syria) from the Louvre museum collection (Paris) have been non-invasively studied by simultaneous particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford and elastic backscattering spectrometry (RBS/EBS) micro-imaging at the AGLAE facility (C2RMF, Paris). Qualitative 2D chemical images of elements ranging from Na to Pb on the surface of the ancient ivory carvings provide evidence of lost polychromy and gilding. Quantitative PIXE data of specific areas allow discrimination between traces of sediments and former polychromy. Different shades of blue can be differentiated from particular Pb/Cu ratios. The characterization of gilding based on RBS data demonstrates the exceptional technological skills of the Phoenician craftsmen supposed to have carved the Arslan Tash ivories. More precise reconstructions of the original polychromy compared to previous studies and a criterion for the authentication of ancient gilded ivory object are proposed. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Spadavecchia J.,CNRS Surface Science Lab | Apchain E.,CNRS Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology | Alberic M.,CNRS Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology | Fontan E.,Musee du Louvre | And 2 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2014

A one-step method is reported to synthesize hybrid gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) by reduction of HAuCl4 in acetic solution in the presence of collagen (Col), dicarboxylic acid-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG), and cetyltetrammonium bromide (CTAB) mixed with hydoxyapatite (HAP) as surfactants. Such formation process of AuNPs was shown to be responsible for purple stains naturally formed on Egyptianizing archaeological gilded ivories from 8th BC Syria. The understanding of this formation mechanism, which most likely involves a step with hybrid AuNPs, allows the establishing of an authenticity marker of ancient gold-plated ivories. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Musee Du Louvre | Date: 2006-04-04

printed materials, namely, newsletters and pamphlets featuring the artwork contained in, owned by or supported through the Muse du Louvre.

Aucouturier M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Mathis F.,University of Liege | Robcis D.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Castaing J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 4 more authors.
Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology | Year: 2010

This paper describes microstructural analyses by X-ray portable diffraction and microdiffraction on intentional patina of the bronze museum objects from antique Egypt and the Roman Empire. They bring evidence of the presence in the true black bronze patinas of metallic gold and/or silver presumably as nanoparticles. Three other Egyptian patinas not belonging to black bronze are characterised. Apparent black patination on a Roman scalpel handle is discussed. The discovery of a new patination procedure on Roman artefacts from the Louvre museum is also related, based on intentional high temperature oxidation to obtain a dark patina on a lead bronze object. A presence of lead carbonate cerussite is an important observation. © 2010 Maney Publishing. Source

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