International Journal of Conservation Science

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Volume 7, Issue 4, 2016

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Research articles

R. Bordalo, C. Bottaini, C. Moricca, A. Candeias

Material Characterization of a Florentine Painter in Portugal in the Late 19th Century: Paintings by Giorgio Marini

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF ]                  pp. 967-980

This paper presents the analytical characterization of a series of paintings authored by Giorgio Marini (1836-1905) from the Museum of Évora. Marini was an Italian painter who lived in Portugal in the 19th century. He was a very prolific painter and his works, most of them portraits commissioned by urban and rural bourgeois and noble elites, are dispersed all over the country. The general good conservation state of most paintings prevented the collection of micro-samples for detailed study. Hence, material identification of the painting materials was performed primarily by XRF, given its non-destructive and non-invasive nature, and it was complemented when possible by auxiliary techniques optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and SEM-EDX. Pigments and fillers such as yellow and red ochre, lead white, zinc white, barium white, chrome yellow and green chrome are among the identified pigments. This is the first time the palette used by Giorgio Marini was identified, helping to characterized the pigments used by foreign painters during the 19th century in Portugal.

Keywords: Portable XRF; Raman spectroscopy; SEM-EDX; Pigment analysis



S. Gulzar, J.-P. Burg

Characterization of Shahdara Tomb’s Wall Plasters from Lahore, Pakistan

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 981-994
Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with (EDS), petrography and X-ray diffraction analyses were employed to characterize the historic wall plasters from 17th century Shahdara’s tomb, in Lahore (Pakistan). Three types of plaster layers corresponded to different functions and locations. The study focused on the nature, composition, texture and microstructural features of binder (lime) and aggregate (Kankar-carbonate fragments, brick pieces and slag) fractions to understand their technical and historical production. Results indicated that pozzolanic brick and slag fragments developed strong adhesion bonds with the binder, which enhanced the durability of the investigated plasters. These results would help in making materials with similar technical and compositional characteristics to set up a scientific plan for conservation and restoration purposes.

Keywords: Mughal; Wall; Plaster; Shahdara Tomb; SEM-EDS; Lahore Steri.


M. Munteanu, I.C.A. Sandu, M.M. Lupascu, V. Vasilache, I. Sandu

The Importance of a Complete and Modern Information Gathering Protocol in the Conservation Process of a XVIII-th Century Icon

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 995-1008
The main aim of this paper is present a complete and modern information gathering protocol required in the conservation process of a 18th century wooden icon and to exemplify the importance of permanently implementing new analysis techniques and examination methods in the field of cultural heritage conservation. In order to obtain all the required information for the future restoration process that the icon taken into study will undergo, the following analysis techniques and examination methods were used: OM, SEM-EDX, micro-FTIR, 3D scanning, and RTI (Reflectance Transforming Image). If the classical OM, SEM-EDX and micro-FTIR have allowed us to identify the material used by the author in creating the icon (natural ultramarine blue, red lead), the other two examination techniques have offered the opportunity to generate a digital model of the icon, providing digital information regarding the artwork geometry or the metrical analysis of the surface of the object, and the resource to examine the icon without the risk of handling it again.

Keywords: Old wood icon; OM; SEM-EDX; micro-FTIR; 3D; RTI

A. Buccolieri, G. Buccolieri, A. Castellano, M. Marabelli

X-Ray Fluorescence for the Study of the Patinas on an Outdoor Bronze Monument

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1009-1022
The aim of this paper is the analysis of main elements of the patinas on an outdoor bronze monument, through the use of a portable Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) equipment. In particular we investigated the concentration of copper, tin, lead, calcium, iron, sulphur and chlorine on the patinas of a bronze statue dedicated to Sigismondo Castromediano, which was created in 1905 and later placed in Lecce (Apulia, Southern Italy). Thanks to the versatility of the EDXRF portable apparatus we carried out a complete scan of the monument in a relatively short time. This has enabled us to obtain useful information on the patinas in a completely non-invasive way. EDXRF experimental data demonstrated that the two analysed parts of the monument are constituted by different bronzes, whereas the elements that characterize the depositions are equivalent in the two monitored parts. Moreover, multivariate statistical analysis was carried out in order to identify possible correlations and/or differences of elemental composition among the patinas of these two statues. Finally, a X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis was carried out on a sample of deposit collected from an area of the statue not exposed to the washing away, in order to identify the phases of the deposit and to evaluate possible corrosion products. The main results of XRD analysis show that there are not corrosion products and the deposit is due to suspended particulate. The information obtained can be helpful for both archaeological and conservation studies for possible future monitoring and/or restoration work of the statue in object.

Keywords: Bronze patina; Non-destructive techniques; EDXRF portable; Statistical analysis; XRD

N.Z. Shaban, S.S. Darouish, T.A. Salah

Experimental Study on the Cleaning of Foxing Spots on the Old Paper Manuscripts using Natural Products

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1023-1030
Many manuscripts and historical books contain a form of deterioration known as foxing or fox spots, a brownish stain which has the effect of altering aesthetic and visual appeal. The aim of this work is to study the role of the extracts of Water Cantaloupe (CE) and Water melon (WE) separately as natural products in removing foxing spots in various modern and old papers. Old papers and three types of modern papers made from cotton, linen and a mixture of cotton, linen and wood (1:1:1) were used for this purpose. Each type was divided into two groups, one of them was infected with foxing and the other was left as control (uninfected). Infected papers were treated with CE, WE and 2% sodium hypochlorite (as a traditional chemical bleaching) separately. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy equipped with Energy-Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) in addition to some optical and mechanical properties were carried out to evaluate the Cantaloupe Extracts (CE) and Water Melon Extracts (WE) use in removing foxing stains compared to sodium hypochlorite. The results showed that CE removed foxing in different studied papers at pH = 7.4. In contrast, WE could not remove these foxing at any studied pH values.

Keywords: Foxing; Natural products; Cantaloupe; Water melons; Paper; Cleaning

M. Plaza Beltran

Submerged Villages. Recovering Wall Paintings from the Church of Atance (Guadalajara, Spain). Technical Study, Exhibition, and 3D Display

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1031-1046
The construction of a dam often means losing the heritage of the villages that are caught beneath the rising waters. In the case discussed here, the inhabitants of the village of Atance (Guadalajara, Spain) saved their church and its contents by relocating it to the city of Guadalajara (Spain). The removal of an altarpiece in the church revealed a hidden niche covered in frescos. The niche had been walled up to erect the altarpiece. When the frescos were detached, they were found to have been laid on top of another painting, estimated to be as old as the church itself. We designed a novel system for displaying both sides of the detached frescos (with the impression left by the earlier work), preserving the shape and dimensions of the niche. This structure shows both the original and later paintings, together with the impression left by the original fresco on the back of the later depiction. Using virtual 3D imaging, the structure can now be viewed from all angles.

Keywords: Mural; Polychromy; Conservation; Exhibition; 3D photogrammetry

M. Abdallah, H.M. Kamal, A. Abdrabou

Investigation, Preservation and Restoration Processes of an Ancient Egyptian Wooden Offering Table

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1047-1064
The wooden offering table studied here dates back to Middle Kingdom (2040 – 1782 B.C), and consists of wood and yellow pigment. This study aims to use analytical techniques to identify the components of the table and to understand its deterioration aspects. Visual assessment, isolation and identification of fungi, ultraviolet spectroscopy scanning, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to assess wood deterioration and degradation, to identify wood species, pigments, and previous preservation and restoration materials. The results revealed that the wood species is cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.), used for the body of the offering table, while the dowels are made of hardwood; the pigment used on the table is yellow ochre and the previous preservation and restoration materials are a mixture of beeswax and rosin. The offering table is severely damaged by old fungi infection, Aspergillus sp., Cladosporium sp. were the most dominant fungi found on the offering table. The offering table was previously restored and reassembly by using new dowels made of softwood and extensively amount of a mixture of beeswax and rosin, especially in the four connecting points between the four legs and the four horizontal rails.

Keywords: Preservation; Restoration; Offering table; Wood; Fungal degradation and deterioration; SEM; FTIR; OM

H. Sadek

SEM-EDX Microstructure Characterization of Ptolemaic Faience Beads from Egypt

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1065-1070
In this study faience beads from Saqqara, Egypt, monochrome and with a diameter of 2-3 mm, dating from the Greco-Roman period, were analyzed by SEM-EDS. SEM was employed in three modes depending on the obtained data; imaging, composition analysis and elemental mapping. The results show that the faience beads were modeled manually by hand, as well as that plant ashes was used as alkaline flux agent rather than natron. Using the elemental mapping playing important role in determination of glazing technique, where cementation is the used technique in studied samples.

Keywords: Beads; Faience; Cementation; SEM-EDX; Elemental mapping

M. Danu, V. Diaconu, L. Bejenaru

Chalcolithic Agropastoralism Traces in The Site of Raucesti (Neamt County, Romania): Phytoliths and Animal Remains

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1071-1080
Phytoliths and animal remains deriving from the Chalcolithic site of Răucești (Neamț County, Romania) are used for obtaining a set of data regarding the palaeoenvironment and the resources of subsistence that were available for the Cucutenian community from this settlement. The information obtained in this study is very important considering the precarious preservation state of the archaeological site that has been destroyed in a systematic manner due to agrarian works. Phytolith analysis discloses the dominance of spontaneous grasses, but the results also highlight the presence of grains inside the site. Thus, an open environment is delineated around the settlement, an image that is also testified by the archaezoological data. The analysis of animal remains brings in new clues regarding the palaeoeconomy of the settlement: animal husbandry and hunting were practiced by the Cucutenian community of Răucești.

Keywords: Phytoliths; Animal Remains; Chalcolithic; Cucuteni; Răucești (Neamț)

S. Escobar-Lasso, M. Gil-Fernandez, J. Sáenz1, E. Carrillo-Jiménez, G. Wong, L.G. Fonseca

Inter-Trophic Food Provisioning Between Sea and Land: The Jaguar (Panthera Onca) as Provider of Sea Turtle Carcasses to Terrestrial Scavengers

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1081-1094
A more complete perspective of carrion use by terrestrial vertebrates and about the role of predators in net carrion supply will improve our understanding of critical ecological processes, particularly those associated with energy flow and trophic interactions. Therefore, the aims of this work were: 1) to record the scavenger species which are benefited indirectly by the predator-prey relationship between jaguars and sea turtles, and 2) to evaluate the influence of activity of vultures on the feeding behavior of the jaguar on sea turtles. During the study period a total of 24 predation events on sea turtles by jaguars were recorded at Nancite beach, Costa Rica. We recorded a total of 11 vertebrate species scavenging on sea turtle carcasses. In this paper, we found that the number of days that the jaguars fed on a sea turtle carcass was correlated with the number of days that the vultures took to find the sea turtle carcass. Our work concluded that the ecological value of jaguars as a top predator, flag, umbrella and keystone species includes their role as a provider of carcasses to scavengers.

Keywords: Carrion subsidies; Competitive behavior; Kleptoparasitism; Trophic interactions; Scavenging behavior; Vulture activity; Predation links.

P.K. Nayak, R.K. Mohanta, A.K. Sahu, K.K. Swain

Mangroves of Mahanadi Delta in the State of Odisha and Aspects of their Conservation

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp.1095-1104
The coast line of Odisha State lying on the east coastal wetland ecosystem of the Indian subcontinent falls within the bounds of tropics and covers a distance of 480kms with a variety of plant habitats. The remarkable mangrove communities within the tidal forest ecosystem along the sheltered places of the coast line bounded by the deltaic and estuarine complex of the rivers Mahanadi, Dhamra, Brahmani and Devi in the districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak are unique for floristic and ecological values. The mangrove vegetation in Odisha occurs both in continuous as well as fragmented patches along the coastal tract. Mahanadi delta encompassing Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Puri districts harbors a rich diversity of mangroves and their associates. From extensive survey in Mahanadi delta over 3 years (2012-2015), 61 species of mangroves and their associates have been collected and identified. Some mangroves ensure livelihood support to the local communities in many ways. But it is a matter of great concern that this plant communities are under severe threat and pressure due to anthropogenic interferences. So, it is time to adopt massive mangrove restoration programs with special emphasis on conservation of rare and threatened species.

Keywords: Mangroves; Mahanadi delta; Conservation; Restoration programs; Anthropogenic interferences


B. Tripathy

Reproductive Biology and Conservation of Olive Ridley at the Rushikulya Rookery of Odisha, India

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1105-1126
A study of the reproductive biology and conservation of the Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea was undertaken at the Rushikulya rookery along the Odisha coast in 2002-2005. The distribution of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the nearshore waters of the Rushikulya rookery was studied. Solitary and arribada population of Olive Ridley at the rookery was monitored. Data on adult mortality, predation of eggs and juveniles, beach erosion and Casuarina plantation along the beach were enumerated. The maximum offshore area utilized by turtles is 57.92sq.km and mating takes place at a depth of 16-28m and 2 to 5km from the shore. The number of turtles counted on the beach was 11024, for which curved carapace measurements of egg laying females were recorded as 67.16 ± 3.65cm. Sporadic nesting was documented from December to April with a peak in March, and no major intermediate nesting in between. The mass nesting census differs greatly compared to the figures projected by the monitoring agency. Multiple nesting by individual and inter-seasonal shift in movement of turtles from the Rushikulya rookery was confirmed. Fishing practices are not found to influence breeding activities. Mortality was low at Rushikulya compared to rest of the Odisha coast. However, other anthropogenic pressures, viz. plantation, erosion and illumination, have emerged as visible threats at Rushikulya.

Keywords: Olive Ridley; Reproductive patch; Arribada; Incubation; Orientation; Illumination; Rushikulya; Odisha

S.L. Jamir, C.R. Deb, N.S. Jamir

Studies on Reproductive Biology and Seed Biology of Panax Pseudoginseng Wall. (Araliaceae): A Threatened Medicinal Plant

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1127-1134
Panax pseudoginseng Wall. (Araliaceae) is a highly threatened medicinal plant. The plant population is declining rapidly owning to high exploitation for medicinal uses along with limitation within the plant itself in its reproductive behavior and seed habit. Sprouting of buds takes place from mid-February and flowers from late May till early June. Centripetal inflorescence is exhibited with continued nature of flowering. Timing of anthesis is between 6:30–7:30 AM and plants are usually self-pollinated. Seeds are dispersed by wind, gravity, small animals and birds. Plant showed positive correlation between plant height and number of leaflets. Berry production starts from 2-leaves plants onwards. Two-seeded fruit was found to be most dominant. Higher stage plants exhibits higher dormancy. Seeds of P. pseudoginseng exhibits long dormancy and demands pre-sowing stratification. Seeds stratified at both warm at 25°C for 3 months followed by cold stratification at 4°C for 4 months exhibited 68.20% germination in the seed bed.

Keywords: Dormancy; Medicinal plant; Panax pseudoginseng Wall.; Phenology; Reproductive output; Seed biology; Threatened plants.

G. Romanescu, A. Tirnovan, G.M. Cojoc, I.G. Sandu

Temporal Variability of Minimum Liquid Discharge in Suha Basin. Secure Water Resources and Preservation Possibilities

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1135-1144
The last climatic years have recorded a recrudescence of risk phenomena, especially floods and droughts. Because of this reason an acute shortage of water is presently felt even in the mountainous areas. Hydrological data have been recorded at 5 gauges distributed in the middle and lowers sectors of the basin. Suha river basin includes a large number of inhabitants, attracted here some time ago by mining exploitations. The closing of Ostra mine has not led to a decrease in population, and thus water demands are higher and higher and underground resources are used. Minimum discharge in the basin is extremely low in comparison to the reality of other mountain catchments (at Stulpicani gauge a mean minimum discharge of 0.611 m3/s has been recorded during 1970-2013). This situation is due first of all to the rapid infiltration of water in the very permeable deposits (sands, gravels, boulders). An increase in water demands is probable if the comfort of the dwellings is improved by raising the number of baths and showers, of greenhouses for vegetables growing, of guest-houses with pools etc. In order to preserve water resources in the area is imposed the keeping of the present forested surfaces and the adequate control of tailings dumps so as to avoid underground and surface water pollution. Due to practices like toilets lacking septic tanks or gathering of manure on un-isolated platforms, the conservation of present water quality (especially the underground one) is imperious.

Keywords: Water demands; Discharge; Surface flow; Hydrologic drought; meteorological drought

R.D. Kangabam, S. Kanagaraj, G. Munisamy

Assessment of Carbon Sequestration Potential of Loktak Lake in Manipur - A Biodiversity Hotspot

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1145-1152
Wetlands are important natural resources and vital for human survival on the earth. They are one of the most productive environments and cradles for biological diversity. They are considered as wealth of carbon storage and provide a potential sink for global atmospheric carbon, but the role of the wetlands in carbon sequestration storage has been under estimated. The recent increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide has led to growing concern among the public and scientific community to identify the potential of various ecosystem to sequestered more carbon. There is growing interest among researchers to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol to stabilize the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming through managing wetland restoration and conservations projects to exploit the carbon sequestration potential. The objective of the present study is to assess the soil organic carbon (SOC) in different sites of Loktak Lake to estimate the carbon stock and provide their potential of carbon sequestration capacity. The result from the analysis of SOC density ranges from 0.70kg/m2 to 6.57kg/m2 at a depth of 0…10 cm and density varies during the season with maximum SOC of 5.18kg/m2 during post monsoon and 3.19kg/m2 during winter. The total carbon sequestration potential of the Loktak Lake is 204181 tones year−1. The outcome from the study will help in formulation of efficient strategies to mitigate the increase in carbon dioxide and reduction of the GHG emissions from wetlands in the Indo-Burma (Myanmar) Biodiversity Hotspot.

Keywords: Carbon sequestration; Bulk density; Soil organic carbon; Loktak Lake; Wetland Protection, Sustainable management

Sudarmono, D. Latifah, S. Hartini, H. Wawangningrum

Hand-pollination of the Giant Corpse Flower in the Bogor Botanic Gardens

[ Abstract ]
[ Full Article - PDF]                  pp. 1153-1160
The remarkable inflorescence of Amorphophallus titanum (Becc.) Becc. ex Arcang (the giant corpse flower) has always attracted world-wide attention, especially from people involved in the plant sciences. However, the characteristics of its reproductive biology have challenged efforts to cultivate and domesticate the plant. The species rarely produces fruit/seeds because the male and female flowers do not mature simultaneously. The success of pollination, as indicated by subsequent fruit production, depends on the interaction between insects and the mature male and female flowers from different individual plants. Therefore this study on cross-hand pollination to produce seeds is very important to support the ex-situ conservation efforts of this species in collections. Based on observation, flowering of the species occurs at least once every three year. An inflorescence of A. titanum which opened in Bogor Botanic Gardens on 2 February 2012 was pollinated manually using (stored) pollen taken from another plant, which had bloomed on 29 November 2011. The hand cross-pollination was successful and the fruit (infructescence) produced on 22 February 2012 marked the first success for manual pollination of this giant aroid in Indonesia. In this research, the morphology of pollen of A. titanum was carefully observed and its quality of stored seeds was tested.

Keywords: Amorphophallus titanum; Bogor Botanic Gardens; Giant inflorescence.

Publication date: 15.12.2016

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