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Polychromy in Africa Proconsularis: investigating Roman statues using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy

  • Noémie Kopczynski (a1), Laurence de Viguerie (a2) (a3), Elisabetta Neri (a1) (a2) (a3), Nesrine Nasr (a4), Philippe Walter (a2) (a3), Fathi Bejaoui (a5) and François Baratte (a1)...

Colour was a key feature of Greek and Roman sculpture, but due to the current bare-marble appearance of many such statues, it is now frequently overlooked. This is illustrated here by the first study of polychromy in Roman statues from the province of Africa Proconsularis. Five sculptural fragments dating to the second and third centuries AD were examined using techniques including XRF analysis, and a variety of pigments were detected. The differing colour schemes presented by each of the pieces are here assessed, and consideration is given to the technical process by which they were coloured, the significance of their decoration and the potential for applying similar approaches in future studies of ancient statuary.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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Kopczynski supplementary material
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