Micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) on organic colourants in archaeological pigments

Authors

  • Elsa Van Elslande,

    1. Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France C2RMF, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, UMR 171 CNRS, Palais du Louvre-Porte des Lions, 14 quai François Mitterrand, 75001 Paris, France
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  • Sophie Lecomte,

    1. Centre de Biologie des Membranes et des Nanoobjets, CBMN, UMR 5248 CNRS, Université Bordeaux 1-ENITAB, IECB, 2 rue Robert Escarpit, 33607 Pessac, France
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  • Anne-Solenn Le Hô

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France C2RMF, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, UMR 171 CNRS, Palais du Louvre-Porte des Lions, 14 quai François Mitterrand, 75001 Paris, France
    • Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France C2RMF, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, UMR 171 CNRS, Palais du Louvre-Porte des Lions, 14 quai François Mitterrand, 75001 Paris, France.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Direct identification of organic colourants in heterogeneous matrices of cultural heritage objects with very little or no sampling remains a challenging analytical task.

A Raman procedure was investigated for the direct identification of archaeological organic-coloured pigments found in works of art, without solvent extraction. Conventional micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS) using different excitations and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) were tested on microscopic samples of paints and cosmetics containing dyes from different sources (animal or vegetal). A tiny lump of purple pigment discovered during excavations in the ancient Minoan city of Akrotiri, on the Santorini Island in Greece (1650 B.C.) and Greco–Roman pink cosmetics were studied. In some cases the results were compared with a range of lake pigments made in the laboratory following historical recipes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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