The Tomb of the Diver has been subject for many decades of fierce debate among archaeologists and classicists. Since its discovery in 1968, some scholars have considered it a unique example of the lost tradition of Greek painting, others have emphasized Etruscan or Italic parallels. More recently, a possible local production has been suggested. With the aim of trying to solve the archaeological question, an archaeometric comparison among this well-known artwork and several frescoed tombs coming from Hellenistic and Lucan necropolis was carried out. The multi-analytical study was focused on the identification of peculiar features of executive techniques and raw materials since the first period of the archaeological site. The analytical investigation has been preliminary based on a non-destructive approach, performed in-situ by portable equipment including imaging diagnostics and compositional spectroscopic techniques for identifying pigments and the conservation state of original painted surface; subsequently, a further deepening by using destructive techniques was performed in-lab for the mortar-based supports characterization. Archaeometric study suggested that technological choices slightly changed in a time span of about two centuries, highlighting important markers that allow clustering the contemporary artistic productions. Moreover, a comparison with mortars from temples decorations was provided to better understand the whole artistic context. The archaeometric data showed that the Tomb of the Diver could be traced back to a local artisanal tradition and therefore is neither Etruscan nor Greek, but the first and foremost an expression of the local elite culture of Paestum.

The Tomb of the Diver and the frescoed tombs in Paestum (southern Italy): New insights from a comparative archaeometric study

la Russa M. F.;Rovella N.;Ruffolo S. A.;
2020

Abstract

The Tomb of the Diver has been subject for many decades of fierce debate among archaeologists and classicists. Since its discovery in 1968, some scholars have considered it a unique example of the lost tradition of Greek painting, others have emphasized Etruscan or Italic parallels. More recently, a possible local production has been suggested. With the aim of trying to solve the archaeological question, an archaeometric comparison among this well-known artwork and several frescoed tombs coming from Hellenistic and Lucan necropolis was carried out. The multi-analytical study was focused on the identification of peculiar features of executive techniques and raw materials since the first period of the archaeological site. The analytical investigation has been preliminary based on a non-destructive approach, performed in-situ by portable equipment including imaging diagnostics and compositional spectroscopic techniques for identifying pigments and the conservation state of original painted surface; subsequently, a further deepening by using destructive techniques was performed in-lab for the mortar-based supports characterization. Archaeometric study suggested that technological choices slightly changed in a time span of about two centuries, highlighting important markers that allow clustering the contemporary artistic productions. Moreover, a comparison with mortars from temples decorations was provided to better understand the whole artistic context. The archaeometric data showed that the Tomb of the Diver could be traced back to a local artisanal tradition and therefore is neither Etruscan nor Greek, but the first and foremost an expression of the local elite culture of Paestum.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/304592
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