This article is part of the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy special issue entitled “Raman spectroscopy in art and archaeology” edited by Juan Manuel Madariaga and Danilo Bersani.
Field Raman analysis to diagnose the conservation state of excavated walls and wall paintings in the archaeological site of Pompeii (Italy)†
Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy
Special Issue: Raman spectroscopy in art and archaeology
Volume 43, Issue 11, pages 1747–1753, November 2012
How to Cite
Maguregui, M., Knuutinen, U., Martínez-Arkarazo, I., Giakoumaki, A., Castro, K. and Madariaga, J. M. (2012), Field Raman analysis to diagnose the conservation state of excavated walls and wall paintings in the archaeological site of Pompeii (Italy). J. Raman Spectrosc., 43: 1747–1753. doi: 10.1002/jrs.4109
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 12 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 DEC 2011
- field analysis;
- portable Raman spectroscopy;
- Insula IX 3 of Pompeii;
- wall paintings;
- environmental impacts
This work presents the results of field Raman analyses, assisted by a hand-held energy dispersive-X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, to experimentally determine the composition of compounds present in the walls and wall paintings of two Pompeian houses, one with many luxurious decorative elements (the House of Marcus Lucretius, Regio IX, Insula 3, House 5/24) and a more modest building (Regio IX, Insula 3, House 1–2). These houses were excavated 150 years ago, and the majority of the rooms have been exposed outdoors. The chemical attacks of the acid gases and the biological colonisation can be considered the most serious problems of the archaeological remains from Insula IX 3 of Pompeii. The walls and wall paintings exposed to the rain-wash are the worst preserved ones, probably due to a continuous cycle of SO2 attack to the original materials, involving loss of plaster. This severe decay was not observed in the rooms covered by roofs; in these last rooms, the most noticeable pathologies are the presence of high humidity in the walls and the elevated amount of efflorescences. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.