Novel application of X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) for the non-destructive micro-elemental analysis of natural mineral pigments on Aboriginal Australian objects.

Rachel Popelka-Filcoff, Claire Lenehan, Enzo Lombi, Erica Donner, Daryl Howard, Martin de Jonge, David Paterson, Keryn Walshe, Allan Pring

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This manuscript presents the first non-destructive synchrotron micro-X-ray fluorescence study of natural mineral pigments on Aboriginal Australian objects. Our results demonstrate the advantage of XFM (X-ray fluorescence microscopy) of Aboriginal Australian objects for optimum sensitivity, elemental analysis, micron-resolution mapping of pigment areas and the method also has the advantage of being non-destructive to the cultural heritage objects. Estimates of pigment thickness can be calculated. In addition, based on the elemental maps of the pigments, further conclusions can be drawn on the composition and mixtures and uses of natural mineral pigments and whether the objects were made using traditional or modern methods and materials. This manuscript highlights the results of this first application of XFM to investigate complex mineral pigments used on Aboriginal Australian objects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3657-3667
    Number of pages11
    JournalAnalyst
    Volume141
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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