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Terahertz analysis of stratified wall plaster at buildings of cultural importance across Europe

Pezzati, L., Walker, G., Jackson, J. B., Giovannacci, D., Bowen, J., Delandes, B., Labaune, J., Mourou, G., Menu, M., Detalle, V. and Targowski, P. (2013) Terahertz analysis of stratified wall plaster at buildings of cultural importance across Europe. In: Optics for Arts, Architecture and Archaeology IV, May 30 2013, Munich, Germany, 87900H.

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Terahertz (THz) radiation is being developed as a tool for the analysis of cultural heritage, and due to recent advances in technology is now available commercially in systems which can be deployed for field analysis. The radiation is capable of penetrating up to one centimetre of wall plaster and is delivered in ultrafast pulses which are reflected from layers within this region. The technique is non-contact, non-invasive and non-destructive. While sub-surface radar is able to penetrate over a metre of wall plaster, producing details of internal structures, infrared and ultraviolet techniques produce information about the surface layers of wall plaster. THz radiation is able to provide information about the interim region of up to approximately one centimetre into the wall surface. Data from Chartres Cathedral, France, Riga Dome Cathedral, Latvia, and Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction, France is presented each with different research questions. The presence of sub-surface paint layers was expected from documentary evidence, dating to the 13th Century, at Chartres Cathedral. In contrast, at the Riga Dome Cathedral surface painting had been obscured as recently as 1941 during the Russian occupation of Latvia using white lead-based paint. In the 13th Century, wall paintings at the Chapel of the Frescos, Chartreuse du Val de Benediction in Villeneuve les Avignon were constructed using sinopia under-painting on plaster covering uneven stonework.. This paper compares and contrasts the ability of THz radiation to provide information about sub-surface features in churches and Cathedrals across Europe by analysing depth based profiles gained from the reflected signal. © (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:39914
Uncontrolled Keywords:Terahertz, reflection imaging, signal analysis, mural paintings, conservation, under-painting, non-Gaussian optics, Fourier analysis.

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