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2013 | 11 | 11 | 1729-1739

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Archaeometric investigations on naturally and thermally-aged iron-gall inks using different tannin sources


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This paper investigates the behavior of paper strips containing iron-gall inks prepared with tannins from different sources, subjected to natural and thermally-induced aging. Results indicate that inks containing initial concentrations of ferrous sulphate ranging from 0.2 to 10.0 g are amenable to treatment with calcium phytate, and thata good correlation exists between the recovery of excess iron and the initial concentration. Infrared spectra showed an absorption band at 1,750 cm−1, typical of esther, solely in the samples prepared with a condensed tannin. The condensed nature of this tannin produced a different oxidation pattern, with iron removal inferior to those observed from inks produced with hydrolisable tannins. When tannic acid was used ferrous iron removals ranged from 0.050 to 1.800 g, decreasing to 0.5 g in the presence of copper; the same behavior was observed for the remaining hydrolisable tannins, with a lower recovery from the condensed tannin. The adopted natural aging procedure released a higher amount of ferrous iron compared to ASTM thermal aging. This was probably due to the marked effect of humidity, not considered in the thermal procedure. A series of archaeometric possibilities were used to help elucidate the degradation of cellulose strips impregnated with iron-gall inks. [...]










Physical description


1 - 11 - 2013
25 - 8 - 2013


  • Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences, 20921-030, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • National Institute of Technology, 20081-312, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • National Institute of Technology, 20081-312, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • National Institute of Technology, 20081-312, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • National Institute of Technology, 20081-312, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, BR 465 Seropédica, 23890-000, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • National Institute of Technology, 20081-312, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil


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