Investigation of an ancient eared cup excavated in China using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy/energy‐dispersive X‐ray spectrometry, laser Raman spectroscopy, and radiocarbon dating
Noriyasu Niimura, Tetsuo Miyakoshi, Masako Miyazato, Hideo Nishioka, Hiroshi Onodera, Yusuke Uetake
Surface and Interface Analysis
Natural lacquer has been used as a coating material for daily necessities for thousands of years. In the archeology and conservation science, identifying them provides useful information for the lacquer culture research and restoration work. In this study, an eared cup excavated in China was investigated by multiple analytical methods. The surface structure of ancient lacquerware has a multilayered structure. The type of lacquer was identified by pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (PyGC/MS). The layered structure and pigments were investigated by scanning electron microscopy/energy‐dispersive X‐ray spectrometry (SEM/EDX), which clearly showed elemental maps of the cross‐section of the lacquer layers. Laser Raman spectroscopy (LRS) was used to distinguish between the types of carbon compound in the black layers. Additionally, the age of the eared cup was measured by radiocarbon dating. By combining these complementary results, we were able to derive a reliable interpretation of ancient lacquer processing techniques. This demonstrates the importance of properly combining multiple methods for analyzing the microscopic and complex structures of lacquerware.
cross‐section analysis, eared cup, LRS, PyGC/MS, SEM/EDX