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Pierre-Olivier AUTRAN presents

Analyse structurale de composés hétérogènes multi-phasés :
application aux pigments noirs à base de carbone de l’Antiquité

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Link : https://esrf.zoom.us/j/98509007615?pwd=TUhMN3NzbWNkUFFjT2pJSjJxRmtzUT09

Identifiant du webinaire : 985 0900 7615
Mot de passe : 964137



The joint inventions of ink and papyrus by the Egyptians around 5,000 years ago profoundly changed the intellectual history of mankind by promoting the advent of writing and the dissemination of information. The information, shared until then by a small group of people, was able to be widely disseminated throughout the ancient Mediterranean as far as Greece, Rome, and beyond. The chemistry of the black inks used in Antiquity has however been little studied until now and our knowledge of this fundamental technological invention, therefore, remains very incomplete and essentially based on the information reported in ancient texts. It is generally accepted that the black ink used for writing is carbon-based and this at least until the 4th-5th century AD. In this thesis, we will try to unravel the mysteries around the nature of the carbon-based black pigments used in Antiquity. We will present the results of the analysis carried out on several black powders from containers excavated from Pompei and Herculaneum archaeological sites, as well as papyrus fragments from the collection of the Champollion Museum, belonging to several funeral books. These archaeological samples are very heterogeneous materials, with the presence of non-crystalline and crystalline phases presenting various crystallite sizes. In order to study these samples, a dedicated methodology was implemented in which scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy,

X-ray fluorescence, and X-ray diffraction data/ PDF are combined. We focused on structural studies based on techniques involving synchrotron X-rays with the development of dedicated tools. The identification of the different chemical elements, crystalline phases, and disordered phases present in the black carbon-based pigments of antiquity gives new insights into the manufacturing processes developed in Roman times and ancient Egypt.

Keywords: Carbon-based pigments, Antiquity, heterogeneous materials, synchrotron X-ray techniques

Directrices de thèse :
Mme Pauline MARTINETTO et Mme Catherine DEJOIE

Membres du jury :
Mme Laurence DE VIGUERIE, chargée de recherche, LAMS – UMR8220, Paris, Rapporteure
M. Gilles WALLEZ, professeur des universités, Sorbonne Université – UFR926, Paris, Rapporteur
Mme Isabelle GAUTIER-LUNEAU, professeur des universités, Institut Néel – Univ. Grenoble Alpes – CNRS, Grenoble, Examinatrice
M. Andrew KING, docteur en sciences, Synchrotron Soleil, Gif-sur-Yvette, Examinateur
M. Philippe SCIAU, directeur de recherche, CEMES – CNRS, Toulouse, Examinateur
Mme Caroline DUGAND, conservatrice du patrimoine, Musée Champollion, Vif, Invitée