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Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometry to Identify the Earliest Organic Binder in Aegean Style Wall Paintings

Journal article
Authors Ravit Linn
Ilaria Bonaduce
Georgia Ntasi
Leila Birolo
Assaf Yasur-Landau
Eric H. Cline
Austin Nevin
Anna Lluveras-Tenorio
Published in Angewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume 57
Pages 13257-13260
ISSN 1433-7851
Publication year 2018
Published at
Pages 13257-13260
Language en
Keywords Aegean style paintings, Bronze Age, evolved gas analysis, mass spectrometry, organic binders
Subject categories Separation methods, Archaeology, classical


© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim An organic binder was identified in the painted fragments from the Canaanite palace of Tel Kabri, Israel. Recently dated to the late 18th century B.C.E. by 14C, Tel Kabri is the most ancient of the Eastern Mediterranean sites in which Aegean style paintings have been found. The application of pigments was suspected to be using an organic binding medium, particularly for the Egyptian Blue pigment. Samples of blue paint were examined using evolved gas analysis-mass spectrometry (EGA-MS) in order to overcome the analytical challenges imposed by highly degraded aged proteinaceous materials. Egg was identified as the binder based on the presence of hexadecanonitrile and octadecanonitrile, confirming the use of a secco painting technique. Lysozyme C from Gallus gallus was detected by proteomics analysis, confirming the presence of egg. To our knowledge, this is the earliest use of egg as a binder in Aegean style wall paintings.

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