Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 5 (2010)

Terahertz analysis of an East Asian historical mural painting

K. Fukunaga, I. Hosako, Y. Kohdzuma, T. Koezuka, M.-J. Kim, T. Ikari, X. Du


Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and THz and imaging techniques are expected to have great potential for the non-invasive analysis of artworks. We have applied THz imaging to analyse the historic mural painting of a Lamaism temple by using a transportable time-domain THz imaging system; such an attempt is the first in the world. The reflection image revealed that there are two orange colours in the painting, although they appear the same to the naked eye. THz imaging can also estimate the depth of cracks. The colours were examined by X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, and the results were found to be in good agreement. This work proved that THz imaging can contribute to the non-invasive analysis of cultural heritage.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2010.10024]

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