The EU TISCH project has demonstrated that terahertz imaging and spectroscopy can be a viable, non-destructive and non-invasive tool to aid the retrieval and analysis of images of obscured features of artwork. Through a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Dr Bianca Jackson from the University of Reading in the UK was able to apply this technique to inspect layers of paint, detect structural defects in ceramics and image the physical structure of paintings and manuscripts.
Mosaic depicting Jesus at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople [Credit: Columbia University] '
Institutions that carry out cultural heritage research don't have a lot of extra money for emerging technology, but they do have the hearts and minds of the people – folks love to talk about what is being done with technology to better understand the mysterious Mona Lisa, or whether or not a sarcophagus contains Queen Neferititi,' says Jackson. 'So one of best ways to reduce costs and increase the accessibility of terahertz technology to open up new and interesting areas of applied research.'
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