Radiography of Cultural Material

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Janet Lang, Andrew Middleton
Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997 - Art - 193 pages
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Radiography is a versatile technique with many applications to archaeological and art historical artefacts. It can be used to assess the condition of objects before conservation treatment, to gain insight into materials used and methods of construction, and to reveal teh secrets of teh embalmer's art, hidden within mummified remains. The techniques can be applied to materials as diverse as paper, wood, ceramic and metal, as well as to human and other animal remains. Radiographic examination may provide images of objects concealed within a mass of corrosion and may even reveal a previously unknown painting, hidden beneath a later work. All of this can be carried out non-destructively, making radiography an invaluable tool for the study of cultural materials.

This book explores some of this multitude of applications through a series of chapters, each written by practitioners in their particular field. These accounts include descriptions of some less familiar methods, such as xeroradiography, stereoradiography and the application of recenty introduced image processing techniques. They demonstrate vividly the versatility of radiography, and the range of topics discussed illustrates the valuable contribution that radiography can make to the study of artfacts made from a variety of materials, from many different cultures.

For the most part, the book is arranged on the basis of the nature of the materials studied; the particular concerns of the conservator are then consdered, followed by a discussion of the use of radiography in the detection of restoration, pastiche and fakes. The final chapter provides an account of the application of computer-based image processing techniques.

Written by experts in their particular fields
Of interest to the conservator and curator alike
Illustrated with over 200 photos and line drawings

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Clinical radiography and archaeohuman

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About the author (1997)

Janet Lang was formerly a Senior Scientist in the same department.

Colin McEwan is an archaeologist and Head of the Americas section at the British Museum. Andrew Middleton, Caroline Cartwright, and Rebecca Stacey are scientists at the British Museum. Middleton is a minerologist; Cartwright specializes in the identification of wood, fibre, and shell; and Rebecca Stacey is an expert in the characterization of resins, waxes, and gums.

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