Tituli Picti in the archaeological site of Pompeii: diagnostic analysis and conservation strategies

  • Natalia Rovella
  • Anna Arcudi
  • Vincenza Crupi
  • Mauro Francesco La Russa
  • Domenico Majolino
  • Massimo Osanna
  • Rossella Pace
  • Silvestro Antonio Ruffolo
  • Michela Ricca
  • Nicola Ruggieri
  • Valentina VenutiEmail author
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Focus Point on Past and Present: Recent Advances in the Investigation of Ancient Materials by Means of Scientific Instrumental Techniques


In the archaeological site of Pompeii, epigraphs Tituli Picti applied on stone, such as Campanian ignimbrite in Oscan and Latin language, were surveyed by different authors. Although there are several publications concerning the building materials and artefacts of Pompeii, the scientific literature lacks of studies regarding the knowledge and conservation of such paints. The diagnostic and conservation project is aimed at determining the execution technique, as well as at defining the state of conservation of the Tituli Picti realized on the Campanian ignimbrite. In addition, the study will provide experimental data useful to suggest proper conservation procedures, mainly in terms of protective and consolidating products to be used. Results carried out by means of Optical Microscopy, Electron Probe Microanalysis, portable XRF and portable Raman techniques revealed that the epigraphs were applied on the stone surface, without any setting layer. Hematite-based red ochre was detected as pigment. On the contrary, it is still unclear if any substance was used to bind the pigment on the stone substrate. The subsequent stage of the project will include the reproduction of Tituli Picti in laboratory and the development of suitable conservation procedures to be tested in situ.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Rovella
    • 1
  • Anna Arcudi
    • 1
  • Vincenza Crupi
    • 2
  • Mauro Francesco La Russa
    • 1
  • Domenico Majolino
    • 2
  • Massimo Osanna
    • 3
  • Rossella Pace
    • 4
  • Silvestro Antonio Ruffolo
    • 1
  • Michela Ricca
    • 1
  • Nicola Ruggieri
    • 5
  • Valentina Venuti
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of CalabriaArcavacata di Rende, CSItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences (MIFT)University of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.General DirectorArchaeological Park of PompeiiPompeii, NAItaly
  4. 4.Ecole Normale Supérieure—PSLLaboratoire AOrOc Archéologie et Philologie d’Orient et d’Occident-UMR 8546ParisFrance
  5. 5.Technical Planning Secretariat of the Archaeological Park of PompeiiPompei, NAItaly

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