Forgery detection on an Arabic illuminated manuscript by micro-Raman and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy



An Arabic manuscript, supposed to be from the 14th century, was investigated and its components (pigments and dyestuffs) characterised using micro-Raman and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, the latter employing a portable XRF/X-ray diffraction (XRD) system. The presence of anatase, rutile, calcite, barite, zinc oxide, carbon black, vermilion, hematite, goethite, β-naphthol, copper phthalocyanine, pigmosol green and a brass-based pigment was detected in the different zones of the illuminated manuscript. The detection of titanium oxides, barite and organic synthetic colourants such as β-naphthol and copper phthalocyanine and derived compounds provides indisputable indication of forging, repainting or retouching after the 19th century in the image of the manuscript. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.