Non-destructive diagnostic study of architectural terracruda sculptures.

Crocco M.C., López-Prat M., Agostino R.G., Bandyopadhyay S.R., Carrascosa B., Crocco M.C., De Luca R., Filosa R., Formoso V., Lancelotti C., Noori N.A., Pecci A., Simón-Cortés J., Miriello D.
  Venerdì 16/09   09:00 - 13:30   Aula L - Christa Mc Auliffe   VI - Fisica applicata, acceleratori e beni culturali   Presentazione
A fragment of a terracruda sculpture from the Buddhist archaeological site of Tepe Narenj (Kabul, Afghanistan, 5th--9th century AD) was studied using X-ray micro-CT. This site represents one of the most important Afghan archaeological complexes due to the presence of large statues located in what remains of a Buddhist monastery. Being a non-invasive diagnostic technique, X-ray micro-CT allows the 3D virtual reconstruction of the sculptures, without altering their conservation conditions. Moreover, the analysis of the micro-CT images by means of segmentation techniques makes it possible to isolate the various components of these archeological findings, such as sand with different granulometry, clay and traces of organic material. The results obtained permits to shed light on the technique used in ancient times for the manufacturing of these sculptures, thus rediscovering the original manufacturing "recipe" which had been lost over time. Our results will find application to the conservation and the restorations of ancient findings. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that, starting from the results of our study, artisans are currently building new artifacts using the original technique.