The paper presents a very efficient, quick, low-cost and minimally micro-destructive approach to discriminating between Roman artefacts sculpted with Göktepe (Aphrodisia, Turkey) or Carrara (Apuan Alps, Italy) white marbles by using a standard X-Ray Powder Diffractometer (XRPD) and a refinement of the unit cell parameters and volume of calcite. At present, the routine way of differentiating between these two almost indistinguishable by-eye marbles is based on the typically higher strontium content of calcite in the Microasiatic lithotype, a unique geochemical-crystallographic feature with respect to all other non-Göktepe fine-grained white marbles used in classical times. The XRPD approach has been verified by testing eighteen samples of known composition, nine from Carrara and nine from Göktepe quarries, which had already been analysed with other laboratory techniques. The applicability of the method to archaeological artefacts was confirmed by an archaeometric study performed on some famous Roman sculptures of the National Archaeological Museum of Venice and from Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. The results show that Göktepe/Carrara discrimination is always possible and that this XRPD approach can potentially become a useful and low-cost routine procedure to solve provenance issues.

An innovative approach for provenancing ancient white marbles: the contribution of x-ray diffraction to disentangling the origins of Göktepe and Carrara marbles

Antonelli, Fabrizio
;
2021

Abstract

The paper presents a very efficient, quick, low-cost and minimally micro-destructive approach to discriminating between Roman artefacts sculpted with Göktepe (Aphrodisia, Turkey) or Carrara (Apuan Alps, Italy) white marbles by using a standard X-Ray Powder Diffractometer (XRPD) and a refinement of the unit cell parameters and volume of calcite. At present, the routine way of differentiating between these two almost indistinguishable by-eye marbles is based on the typically higher strontium content of calcite in the Microasiatic lithotype, a unique geochemical-crystallographic feature with respect to all other non-Göktepe fine-grained white marbles used in classical times. The XRPD approach has been verified by testing eighteen samples of known composition, nine from Carrara and nine from Göktepe quarries, which had already been analysed with other laboratory techniques. The applicability of the method to archaeological artefacts was confirmed by an archaeometric study performed on some famous Roman sculptures of the National Archaeological Museum of Venice and from Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. The results show that Göktepe/Carrara discrimination is always possible and that this XRPD approach can potentially become a useful and low-cost routine procedure to solve provenance issues.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11578/314486
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