INVESTIGATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF MURAL PAINTINGS' MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES IN AIN EL-LEBEKHA, EGYPT- PART ONE
Document Type: Original article
Abdel Aal, Sh.
The present study aims to investigate and identify the layers, components, and painting techniques of a mural painting in Ain el-Lebekha Temple located in Kharga Oasis, the capital of the New Valley Governorate, about 200 km to the Nile valley and 232 km to the south of Asyut city, forming a depression of 160 km long and 80 km wide. Archaeological and historical references pointed out that Ain el-Lebekha dates back to the Roman period between the 2nd and 5th centuries AD. Multi analytical and investigation studies were done to identify and define the compositions, techniques, and components, and state of the mural painting layers in Ain el-Lebekha Temple. Moreover, the investigations and examinations with the optical microscope, polarizing microscope, and scanning electron microscope were used to show the state, number and technique of the surfaces and painting layers. XRD, FTIR, and SEM-EDS analytical methods were used to identify the compositions of the mural painting layers and ground layers. They illustrated that calcite and quartz were used in the ground layer, hematite in the red pigment paint, and the Arabic gum as an organic medium in the painting process. The obtained results will enrich our knowledge about mural paintings and materials in an important archaeological site of the Greco-Roman art in Egypt to support the restoration plan.
Ain el-Lebekha; Temple; Greco-Roman; Mural paintings; Pigments; Deterioration
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