EVALUATION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE CONSERVATION OF WALL PAINTINGS IN THE MORTUARY TEMPLE OF RAMSES III.
Document Type: Original Article
Abd El Aal, Sh.
Lecturer, Conservation dept., Faculty of Archaeology, Fayoum University, Egypt.
Egypt has a lot of ancient tombs and tempels, which were decorated with different kinds of wall paintings. Structure of these wall pintings consists of support, plaster and paint layers. The mortuary temple of Ramses III the king of 20th Dynasty who ruled Egypt for 31 years (1183-1153 B.C). Its located of on the west bank of Luxor, Upper Egypt; The temple itself is made of sandstone and contains more than 75,000 square feet of wall decoration and reliefs.Paintings deterioration is primarily due to physiochemical, natural and human factors. The most detrimental factors are bat patches, old varnish and organic waste of birds. All these leed to the gradual disappearance of paintings. Modern technology of conservation is focused on application of new materials for cleaning of wall paintings. Here we report on the use of enzymes for cleaning surface of wall paintings. Analytical techniques such as PIXE, µPIXE, XRD, FTIR and Optical Microscopy were used to evaluate the enzymatic cleaning processes of wall paintings and to identify the chemical composition of blue, red, yellow and white pigments. PIXE and XRD results indicated that there is no change in the chemical composition of the materials and pigments. FTIR and OM results confirmed the stability of organic medium before and after enzymatic cleaning of different kind of patches.
biotechnology; conservation; wall paintings; enzymes; PIXE; FTIR
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