(Received 7 February 1995; accepted 27 March 1995)
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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.
Professor of Laboratorio di Petrografia, Universita' degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza,”, Rome,
Professor of Petrografia applicata, L.A.M.A. Dipartimento di Storia dell'Architettura, Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venice,
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