Event Details: Archaeological Materials Matter:...

« Back to events

Archaeological Materials Matter:...

Monday, May 1, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
4-163
Archaeological objects, the material remains of our human past are limited, irreplaceable, and non-renewable cultural resources that are under imminent threats from environmentally-linked effects, political conflicts, and looting. As with modern materials, their archaeological counterparts were produced through processes by which raw materials were carefully selected, processed, and transformed into cultural products. In this context, this talk examines two of the oldest artificially produced and most widespread pigments employed in the decoration of important ancient polychrome artifacts for over four millennia: Egyptian blue, a vitreous blue compound, and madder lake, a hybrid organic-inorganic composite. Both pigments are known to be photoluminescent after electronic excitation by photons in the visible and re-emission of photons in the near infrared (NIR) and visible (Vis) respectively. This presentation explores the structure--property relationships of these pigments and how they relate to the operational sequences involved in their manufacture. This research goes further to consider the exceptional photophysical properties of Egyptian blue and illustrates how these properties can inspire the design of novel nanostructured materials for modern applications.
Prof. Ioanna Kakoulli, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Dept. UCLA, and Lore and Gerald Cunard Chair, Conservation Interdepartmental Program; Archeological Visiting Faculty Fellow, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT