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Portrait of woman revealed in Herculaneum

A portable x-ray machine has been used to reveal the portrait of a young Roman woman in Herculaneum.

The portable X-ray instrument was brought directly to the site at Herculaneum, where the noninvasive analysis of the mid-1st century AD painting occurred.

“As far as we know, this is the first study of an ancient Roman wall painting — or any other historical wall painting — in situ, in its original setting,” Eleonora Del Federico, a professor of chemistry at the Pratt Institute who studies artists’ materials and conservation, told Seeker. “The technique is fairly new, and has been used for studies at museums on Rembrandts, Picassos and Van Goghs, among others.”

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Story: Jen Veigas, Seeker | Photo: Robero Alberti

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