Analytical Investigation of a Coptic Wooden Icon from the 18th Century Using SEM-EDX Microscopy and FTIR Spectroscopy

Lecture by Abdulrahman Medhat, Grand Egyptian Museum

  • 6:00 p.m.Cairo Center
  • American Research Center in Egypt2 Midan Simón Bolívar
    Garden City, Cairo
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The present study investigates one of 18th-century painter Ibrahim el-Nasekh’s wooden icons. The icon is housed at St Abanoub Church in Samanoud, Nile Delta. The investigation covers the pigment palette, gold layer, white ground layer and the wooden panel. The methods employed are optical microscopy, ESEM-EDX (environmental scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray emission), as well as FTIR-ATR (Fourier-transform infrared coupled with attenuated total reflectance). Based on this archaeometric study, an integrated and complementary approach was taken to conserve this icon, using non-destructive and re-treatable techniques.