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Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry for the Nondestructive Investigation of Conservation Treatments of Cultural Heritage

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Today the long-term conservation of cultural heritage is a big challenge: often the artworks were subjected to unknown interventions, which eventually were found to be harmful. The noninvasive investigation of the conservation treatments to which they were subjected to is a crucial step in order to undertake the best conservation strategies. We describe here the preliminary results on a quick and direct method for the nondestructive identification of the various interventions of parchment by means of direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization and high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry and chemometrics. The method has been developed for the noninvasive analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. In this study castor oil and glycerol parchment treatments, prepared on new parchment specimens, were investigated in order to evaluate two different types of operations. The method was able to identify both treatments. In order to investigate the effect of the ion source temperature on the mass spectra, the DART-MS analysis was also carried out at several temperatures. Due to the high sensitivity, simplicity, and no sample preparation requirement, the proposed analytical methodology could help conservators in the challenging analysis of unknown treatments in cultural heritage.

No MeSH data available.


Color images of some Dead Sea Scrolls fragments: a well-preserved fragment of 4Q Deuteronomy (a), two fragments with darkening problems due to delamination—11Q Paleo Leviticus (b), and gelatinization-4Q Pesher Psalms B (c).
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fig1: Color images of some Dead Sea Scrolls fragments: a well-preserved fragment of 4Q Deuteronomy (a), two fragments with darkening problems due to delamination—11Q Paleo Leviticus (b), and gelatinization-4Q Pesher Psalms B (c).

Mentions: Over the years the adhesives penetrated the fragments and the ageing of the oils caused them further darkening so that today some of the texts are no longer legible and the edges in some cases have further gelatinized (Figure 1).


Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry for the Nondestructive Investigation of Conservation Treatments of Cultural Heritage
Color images of some Dead Sea Scrolls fragments: a well-preserved fragment of 4Q Deuteronomy (a), two fragments with darkening problems due to delamination—11Q Paleo Leviticus (b), and gelatinization-4Q Pesher Psalms B (c).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5121580&req=5

fig1: Color images of some Dead Sea Scrolls fragments: a well-preserved fragment of 4Q Deuteronomy (a), two fragments with darkening problems due to delamination—11Q Paleo Leviticus (b), and gelatinization-4Q Pesher Psalms B (c).
Mentions: Over the years the adhesives penetrated the fragments and the ageing of the oils caused them further darkening so that today some of the texts are no longer legible and the edges in some cases have further gelatinized (Figure 1).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Today the long-term conservation of cultural heritage is a big challenge: often the artworks were subjected to unknown interventions, which eventually were found to be harmful. The noninvasive investigation of the conservation treatments to which they were subjected to is a crucial step in order to undertake the best conservation strategies. We describe here the preliminary results on a quick and direct method for the nondestructive identification of the various interventions of parchment by means of direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization and high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry and chemometrics. The method has been developed for the noninvasive analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. In this study castor oil and glycerol parchment treatments, prepared on new parchment specimens, were investigated in order to evaluate two different types of operations. The method was able to identify both treatments. In order to investigate the effect of the ion source temperature on the mass spectra, the DART-MS analysis was also carried out at several temperatures. Due to the high sensitivity, simplicity, and no sample preparation requirement, the proposed analytical methodology could help conservators in the challenging analysis of unknown treatments in cultural heritage.

No MeSH data available.