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Electron and Optical Microscopy of Prehispanic Mural Paintings

  • Diana Magaloni (a1), Miguel Aguilar (a2) and Victor Castaño (a2)

Abstract

In 1984, archaeologists discovered an important group of mural paintings at the site of Cacaxtla, Mexico. Research has been undertaken to analyze the Prehispanic pigments and the painting techniques employed in these paintings. The present work is focused on the use of colors in these paintings by means of optical microscopy (OM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The stratigraphic structure of painting layers support the presence of an organic binding media. In addition, Maya blue is for the first time described physically by TEM.

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1. vuh, Popol, Lecturas Mexicanas 25, (Fondo de Cultura Economica-SEP, Mexico 1988), pp.85100.
2. Lomardo, S., Las Pinturas Murales de Cacaxtla, (Historia N. 12, 1986) pp. 34.
3. Gettens, R.J. and Stout, G.L., Painting Materials: a Short Encyclopaedia, (D. Van Nostrand, New York, 1946), pp. 130131.
4. Merwin, H.E. in Morris, E.H., Charlot, J. and Morris, A.A., The Temple of the Warriors at Chichen Itza, Publ. 406 (Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington, D.C. 1931).
5. Magaloni, D., Analisis de Ia tenica pictorica empleada en Ia pintura mural de Cacaxtla: el templo rojo, B.A. Thesis, INAH-SEP, Mexico City (1990), pp. 6465.
6. Magaloni, D., Enriquez, R. and Castano, V. in preparation (1990).

Electron and Optical Microscopy of Prehispanic Mural Paintings

  • Diana Magaloni (a1), Miguel Aguilar (a2) and Victor Castaño (a2)

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