Volume 40, Issue 6 (November 1995)
Provenance and Authenticity of Roman Sculptures by Petrographic Techniques
Forensic petrographic methods—such as microscopy, X-ray diffraction and thin section examination—applied to materials of archaeological interest—provided reliable answers to questions related to their provenance. It could be demonstrated that the patina on a Roman marble statue had been faked and that the genetic history of earthy incrustations on the sculptures and on a fragment of marble from an illegal excavation site was the same, therefore indicating a common provenance. Moreover, the same techniques proved that a terracotta fragment found in the belts of an excavator was from the same area as the illegal excavation site.