In 2011 IBeA research group returned to Pompeii to going on with the research of the House of Marcus Lucretius. Our stay coincided in time with the works that our finish archaeologist friends were doing that year in the house. We moved to Pompeii all our hand-held systems: Raman spectrometer, FTIR system and portable EDXRF. We were in the house for 15 days. The research was focus on the study of walls and wall paintings of the house, always trying to know how and why the mortars were so degraded in some rooms but so well preserved on others. The degradation of the mortars was affecting the conservation state of the wall paintings, and some of them were suffering a clear rain-wash process due to the effects of the acid rain, that is, due to the environmental pollution.
During our research work in-situ we realized that not only the pollution was affecteing the integrity of the walls and wallpaintings. Unfortunately, we could see how biodeterioration was developping coloured patinas in some rooms of the house. We were lucky and we were able to characterise those patinas by using our portable systems. This fact is very important because biopatinas have to be studied in-situ because sampling and further laboratory analysis do not provide reliable results due to chemical changes during the transport of the samples.
Close to the Marcus Lucretius House, we can find the House of Obonius (North-West). This house seems to not have any special interest. However, in one of the walls it is possible to see Pompeian Wall Paintings from the so-called first style. The First style, also referred to as structural, incrustation or masonry style, was popular from 200 BC until 80 BC. It is characterized by the simulation of marble and architectonic elements, such as pillars, cornices, etc. These elements were painted in bright and vivid colours, dividing the wall into various, multi-coloured patterns.
During the campaign of 2011 (the second one carried out in the site), we analysed in-situ the remains of pigments present in the patterns by the use of portable Raman spectroscopy as well as by hand-held X-ray flourescence. We could see some areas painted in red, yellow and green colour. In addition, we used the same techniques for the diagnosis of the formation of efflorescences in the walls of the house.
You can see some of our scientific publications in the SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS section.