Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence analysis of Byzantine plaster figurines from Jordan museum

03 May, 2023

A close collaboration between the Jordan Museum, SESAME and Yarmouk University used the non-destructive synchrotron-based X-ray Fluorescence (SR-XRF) at the BM08-XAFS/XRF beamline in SESAME to examine and analyze three Byzantine plaster figurines from Jordan Museum.

The objective was to identify the main composition of the body, the black drawings on the figurines and the mirror fragment on the figurine objects.

The SR-XRF study for three figurines from Khirbet es-Samrā, performed at SESAME indicated that the matrix of the body is composed of calcium carbonate. The black drawing on the objects was identified as wooden charcoal which carbon-based painting. The mirror fragments id found to be not a Si based material but a highly polished material.

















Figure: photograph of each sample (left) together with its corresponding XRF spectrum of the analyzed points (right). Same registration codes of the objects in the museum records are used for naming. (Photo by Sahar al Khasawneh)





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