Characterization of polysaccharides and other natural materials in artistic and archaeological field

Author: Riedo C. ; Typology:  Doctoral dissertation

Licence: CreativeCommons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 ;  Year: 2011; Language: English 

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Since the ancient times objects and works of art have been produced by using materials available in nature. The interactions between materials and the environment give raise to a wide range of degradation processes, and the scientific investigation is necessary to acquire information on materials and their decay conditions in order to apply proper restoration and conservation interventions. In this PhD project the attention was focused on natural polymers, with particular attention to polysaccharides. In the first part of the work the method called Thermally Assisted Hydrolysis and Methylation (THM) was applied for identification of molecular markers useful for plant gums classification. Different parameters and analytical conditions were tested. Also polysaccharide materials were submitted to various kinds of artificial ageing processes in order to investigate the formation of degradation products. The second part of the thesis is focused on the characterization and investigation of ageing processes of some standard natural materials different from polysaccharides, either alone or in mixtures reproducing ancient pharmaceutical, cosmetic and artistic recipes. A case study on ancient ointments is also reported.




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