Portable spectrometers shed light on the materials used in ancient Roman mosaics

Scientists have used portable spectrometers to analyse mosaic tiles from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Different coloured tiles were found to have different origins – for example black tiles were found to have a composition typical of volcanic rock, while orange and red tiles were made from a calcium carbonate mineral coated with a layer of iron oxide. The researchers also found that the tiles may have been damaged over time by acidified rainwater.

Read the full story in Chemistry World.

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