A new paper has been published by our team in the journal Applied Sciences. The article, entitled “Investigation of Ancient Wall Painting Fragments Discovered in the Roman Baths from Alburnus Maior by Complementary Non-Destructive Techniques” can be found at the following link: https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110049.


In this study, several wall painting fragments discovered in the Roman baths from the archeological site Alburnus Maior (Roşia Montană, Romania) were analyzed with the aim to investigate the material composition of both plasters and pictorial layers. Dated from the beginning of the second century AD, these rare findings stand among the oldest examples of preserved decorative polychrome paintings on plaster excavated thus far in the former territory of the Roman province of Dacia. A non-destructive multi-analytical approach based on complementary techniques was considered: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV fluorescence, and hyperspectral imaging (HSI). The obtained results highlight a common Roman color palette mainly based on naturally occurring earth pigments. Red ochre, yellow ochre, manganese-rich ochres/wads, carbon black, and calcite were identified. A traditional two-layer sequence of plasters was found—arriccio (based on lime and siliceous sands), and intonaco (pure lime). The presence of an organic protein binder, identified via FTIR analysis, and sustained by combined imaging documentation, indicates that the pigments were applied a secco. The obtained results are discussed in relation to previous published data, and they can be considered as valuable archeological indicators that contribute to the understanding of the painting techniques and the materials used in the Roman provinces.