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Keywords:

  • anatase;
  • pigment;
  • white;
  • Roman;
  • archaeological materials;
  • ceramic

Abstract

Analysis of a sample of white paint from a ceramic pot of Roman date, using FT-Raman spectroscopy indicated that a component of the white paint was anatase. This suggested that the presence of anatase, usually regarded as an indicator of modern (early twentieth century or later) intervention, could extend back at least two thousand years. Further examination of the sample, using scanning electron microscopy, chemical analysis using an energy-dispersive X-ray analyser, X-ray diffraction and micro-Raman spectroscopy, has confirmed the presence of anatase in small proportions (approximately 1.5%). An explanation for the initial observations relating to the sensitivity of anatase detection in Raman analysis is explored. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.