Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


8 September 2012

Characterization of organic media in the wall-paintings of the “Palace of Nestor” at Pylos, Greece: evidence for a secco painting techniques in the Bronze Age

H. Brecoulaki, A. Andreotti, I. Bonaduce, M.P. Colombini & A. Lluveras Journal of Archaeological Science 39:9 (September) 2012: 2866-2876.


This paper presents the results of an investigation of organic binding media detected in samples from the Mycenaean wall-paintings at the “Palace of Nestor” in Pylos (Western Messenia, Greece): samples dated from the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BC). This is the first scientific study to be conducted on organic binding media in Mycenanean painting, and it is a study that aims to contribute significantly towards our understanding of the original painting techniques used during the Bronze Age. The analytical procedures employed for the detection and characterization of the organic substances preserved within the paint layers (proteinaceous materials, lipids and plant gums), were based on chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques (PY–GC/MS, GC/MS). The most significant results, highlighting an a secco painting technique, are herein reported and discussed.


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