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Remote-sensing hyperspectral imaging for applications in archaeological areas: non-invasive investigations on wall paintings and on mural inscriptions in the Pompeii site
Hyper-Spectral Imaging technology (HSI) is nowadays an established technology in the field of Cultural Heritage (CH), being acknowledged as a highly effective tool for accomplishing both non-invasive diagnostics and documentation of different types of polychrome artworks. Until recently HSI technique in CH field has been mainly used to investigate polychrome surfaces of small or medium size polychrome objects, mainly easel paintings, illuminated pages of manuscripts or paper based artifacts. Conversely, outdoors applications of HSI to large size wall paintings and archeological assets is still mostly unexplored. This is due to the fact that the HSI systems designed for CH applications usually work at short-distance from the targets and can cover only limited size surfaces. To overcome this limitation and to extend the use of HSI for investigating mural paintings, frescoes or wall surfaces in archaeological contexts, a remote sensing approach, based on the use of readapted avionic sensors, has recently been considered and tested in-field. This work illustrates the results of the measurements campaigns carried out in the archaeological site of Pompeii (Italy) by means of remote sensing HSI technology used for a non-invasive investigation of a selection of casestudies. To this purpose, the high-performance prototype SIMGA, an avionic hyperspectral imager developed by Leonardo Company for earth-surface observations, has been employed for the first time in an archeological context, within the framework of the challenging wider project “Great Pompeii Project”. HSI measurements were performed on selected types of wall surfaces, such as mural paintings and mural inscriptions. The acquired data proved to be effectively usable for identification of most of pictorial materials and for mapping their distributions. Selected degradation phenomena of the wall surfaces could be detected and mapped. In addition, the HSI data could be suitably processed to enhance some vanishing traits, hardly perceivable by visual inspection, thus providing a promising tool to retrieve faded parts of partially lost texts in inscriptions.
Cucci Costanza, Picollo Marcello, Chiarantini Leandro, Uda Gianni, Fiori Lorenzo, De Nigris Bruno, Osanna Massimo
Paper for Specialistic Magazine
Micromechanical Journal (Elsevier B.V., Volume: 158, November 2020)
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