At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, the Pigments, Paints, and Polychromies in the Ancient Near Eastern Context session was jam packed with a lot of wonderful presentations. Caroline Roberts (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Joanne Dyer (The British Museum), and Anna Serotta (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) co-authored the paper, “Green Pigments: Exploring Changes in the Egyptian Pigment Palette from the Late to Roman Periods (712 BCE–364 CE) through Multispectral Imaging and Technical Analysis,” and Caroline Roberts was nice enough to volunteer to present her paper for ASORtv. This paper looks at the ongoing research project to document and analyze green pigments on Late period through Roman period Egyptian artifacts. You can watch her presentation below, and read the paper’s abstract from the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting Program Book.
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Green Pigments: Exploring Changes in the Egyptian Pigment Palette from the Late to Roman Periods (712 BCE–364 CE) through Multispectral Imaging and Technical Analysis
This paper presents the results of an ongoing research project to document and analyze green pigments on Late period through Roman period Egyptian artifacts. A driving question behind this research regards the apparent shift from copper-based green pigments used during the Pharaonic era to a wider palette of green earths and unusual blue-yellow mixtures during later periods. A survey of previously analyzed artifacts and an ongoing technical study of artifacts with green pigments have helped form a data set that will allow for broader comparisons and observations of trends in pigment use. The results to be presented consist of a visual, imaging, and analytical survey of objects from multiple Egyptian collections, with a focus on objects from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Multispectral imaging has played an important role in this study, as a means of preliminary examination of green paint surfaces. Using the protocol developed by Dyer, Verri, and Cupitt at the British Museum, techniques such as Ultraviolet-induced luminescence and Infrared-reflected false-color imaging were used to explore green pigment reflectance and luminescence properties on artifacts. These observations are compared with results from subsequent instrumental analysis of green pigment samples.
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