Wood species identification and characterization of its weathering processes are crucial steps in the scientific approach of conservation of wooden cultural heritage. Many precious wooden objects of ancient Egypt are largely present in museums, nevertheless relatively little information is available concerning the nature of timber used and on their status of conservation. To address this gap, the wooden species of three relevant archaeological wood objects (statue, box, and coffin) arising from different Egyptian archaeological sites dated from the Old Kingdom (2,686-2,181 BC) to New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC) were deeply studied. Five hardwood and softwood species were identified belonging to Tamarix mannifera, T. gennessarensis, Ficus sycomorus, Vachellia nilotica, and Cedrus sp. Such data confirmed the recurrence of Vachellia and Tamarix among the most common timbers found in ancient Egypt. Scanning electron microscope, Fourier transform spectroscopy, and synchrotron x-ray radiation diffraction were conducted to evaluate the archaeological wood deterioration. The formation of microcracks, biological degradation patterns (fungal colonization), or chemical characterization (accumulation of salts on and in-between wooden cells) were detected. SEM micrographs showed the presence of fungal hyphae and conidial spores on the wooden cells. Significant changes in the chemical wood composition and decrease in the crystallinity index were detected.

Geweely, N., Abu Taleb, A., Ibrahim, S., Grenni, P., Caneva, G., Galotta, G., et al. (2022). New data on relevant ancient Egyptian wooden artifacts: Identification of wooden species and study of the state of conservation with multidisciplinary analyses. ARCHAEOMETRY [10.1111/arcm.12815].

New data on relevant ancient Egyptian wooden artifacts: Identification of wooden species and study of the state of conservation with multidisciplinary analyses

Ibrahim, S;Caneva, G;Galotta, G;
2022

Abstract

Wood species identification and characterization of its weathering processes are crucial steps in the scientific approach of conservation of wooden cultural heritage. Many precious wooden objects of ancient Egypt are largely present in museums, nevertheless relatively little information is available concerning the nature of timber used and on their status of conservation. To address this gap, the wooden species of three relevant archaeological wood objects (statue, box, and coffin) arising from different Egyptian archaeological sites dated from the Old Kingdom (2,686-2,181 BC) to New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC) were deeply studied. Five hardwood and softwood species were identified belonging to Tamarix mannifera, T. gennessarensis, Ficus sycomorus, Vachellia nilotica, and Cedrus sp. Such data confirmed the recurrence of Vachellia and Tamarix among the most common timbers found in ancient Egypt. Scanning electron microscope, Fourier transform spectroscopy, and synchrotron x-ray radiation diffraction were conducted to evaluate the archaeological wood deterioration. The formation of microcracks, biological degradation patterns (fungal colonization), or chemical characterization (accumulation of salts on and in-between wooden cells) were detected. SEM micrographs showed the presence of fungal hyphae and conidial spores on the wooden cells. Significant changes in the chemical wood composition and decrease in the crystallinity index were detected.
Geweely, N., Abu Taleb, A., Ibrahim, S., Grenni, P., Caneva, G., Galotta, G., et al. (2022). New data on relevant ancient Egyptian wooden artifacts: Identification of wooden species and study of the state of conservation with multidisciplinary analyses. ARCHAEOMETRY [10.1111/arcm.12815].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/419627
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