Languri, Georgiana M.; Boon, Jaap J.
"Between myth and reality: mummy pigment from the Hafkenscheid collection"
Title of Source:
Studies in conservation
Date of Publication:
English; French; German; Spanish
86 bibliog. refs.
Subject Keywords English:
Colour; Pigment; Analysis; Mummy; Black pigment; Gas chromatography; Mass spectroscopy; Natural resin; Mastic; Linseed oil; Beeswax; Fat; Oil; Asphalt
Subject Keywords French:
Couleur; Pigment; Analyse; Momie; Pigment noir; Chromatographie en phase gazeuse; Spectroscopie de masse; Résine naturelle; Mastic; Huile de lin; Cire d'abeille; Graisse; Huile; Asphalte
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A nineteenth-century mummy pigment (Hafkenscheid paint material collection) was analysed by direct temperature-resolved mass spectrometry (DTMS) and gas chromatography/mass (GC/MS, Py-GC/MS, Py-TMAH-GC/MS). Megilp and asphalt (Hafkenscheid collection) reference samples were analysed under similar conditions. The mummy pigment investigated is complex. Py-GC/MS data indicated a pre-treated asphalt, i.e. only (di)benzothiophene-and traces of hopane-asphalt markers were left in the sample. DTMS, GC/MS and Py-TMAH-GC/MS results for the pigment pointed to the presence of slightly aged mastic resin and conifer resin and a complex lipid fraction. A poorly oxidized linseed oil and additions of beeswax, seen as long chain normal fatty acids, and another fat of a bacterial, fungal or human origin showing myristic acid, C 6:1 - C 16:1 and C18:1 mono-unsaturated fatty acids, iso and anteiso fatty acids were founds. The main components, mastic resin and linseed oil, suggest a megilp combined with a black mummy-like pigment. In spite of the degrated asphalt, the unusual fat and the beeswax found, a connection between Egyptian mummies and the Hafkenscheid mummies and the Hafkenscheid mummy pigment cannot be proven.
Location of Document:
Per. IIC 1