Tags: mummified | egyptian | portrait | mapped

Mummified Egyptian Woman's Portrait Mapped by Chemical Imaging

By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2017 09:29 AM

A mummified Egyptian woman's portrait has been mapped down to incredible detail by an advanced chemical imaging technique, Live Science reported.

Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have been curious about the artist that painted the portrait over 1,800 years ago, which was later discovered on the woman's mummified body.

By using a new, noninvasive technique, they were able to produce a detailed analysis of the painting and establish what materials and methods the artist used.

A new method that combines three advanced imaging techniques was used to examine the painting.

The approach, macroscale multimodal imaging, is described in a paper published in Scientific Reports and reveals how the combined data extracted from techniques such as hyperspectral diffuse reflectance, luminescence and X-ray fluorescence allowed scientists to gain greater understanding of how the painting was produced.

"Without even taking a minute sample from the painting, we mapped out detailed information that tells us exactly what materials were used, and how they were prepared," said the study's lead author, Ioanna Kakoulli, in a statement. "We were also able to link their production technology to other ancient 'industries' and practices, such as mining, metallurgy, pottery, dyeing, pharmacopeia and alchemy."

Scientists were able to establish the exact molecular and elemental composition of the paint and figure out what medium the artist used to bind the paint.

Live Science noted that the portrait was painted with different tools including a metal spoon, a fine painter's brush and an engraver.

The analyses also offered key information into the fashion and artistic methods that were popular at the time.

"The decoration of her garment is an excellent example of craftsmanship in real life being reflected within the painting," said Roxanne Radpour, a UCLA graduate student and a co-author of the study, in a statement. "Madder dye extracted from roots was often used to color textiles and leather in ancient Egypt, and we see from the chemical mapping of the portrait that the artist chose to paint the noblewoman's dress with madder lake pigment, thus imitating contemporary practices."

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Scientists have mapped a mummified Egyptian woman's portrait to incredible detail by using an advanced chemical imaging technique.
mummified, egyptian, portrait, mapped
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 09:29 AM
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