X-ray advances Aboriginal culture study
14 Apr 2016
Written for Chemistry World by Sarah Rogers
For the first time, Australian scientists have studied complex mixtures of natural pigments on intact Aboriginal Australian artefacts using x-ray fluorescence microscopy.
Previously applied to canvas paintings, the group at Flinders University applied the technique, which analyses the composition, application and layering of pigments, to two indigenous Australian objects – a boomerang and a bark painting. X-ray fluorescence microscopy allows complex elemental analysis of pigment mixtures of varying thickness without the need for damaging sample extraction. The objects are analysed directly in the x-ray beam.
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Novel application of X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) for the non-destructive micro-elemental analysis of natural mineral pigments on Aboriginal Australian objects
Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff, Claire E. Lenehan, Enzo Lombi, Erica Donner, Daryl L. Howard, Martin D. de Jonge, David Paterson, Keryn Walshe and Allan Pring
DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02065D, Paper