Some New Insights into the Materials Used for the Decoration of Hellenistic Terracotta Figurines in the Pherai Workshops, Greece

In: Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas

Abstract

Non-invasive XRF analyses analysis has been performed on more than 250 terracotta figurines from Pherai in order to determine the quality of the pigments that have survived on their surface, as well as other materials that have been used for their decoration. During the analysis the existence of tin metal foil was revealed. In most cases it is poorly preserved and obscured by a thick layer of soil and salts. Tin foil was identified in 10% of the examined pieces, and the results have been confirmed with a scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS). The thickness of the foil was also measured, and the organic binding medium, with which it was attached to the surface of the figurines, was determined.

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