Sui materiali di una pisside marmorea greca di V secolo. a.C. dipinta e configurata da Metaponto

Stefano Cancelliere;Antonio De Siena;Lorenzo Lazzarini

pp. 167-175, Figg. 8, Tavv. 3

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In May 2003 in the southern necropolis of the ancient Greek colony of Metapontum (province of Matera, Italy) a tomb with a rich female kit containing various vases was discovered. Among the finds a beautiful marble pyxis and a red-figure lekythos allowed to date the tomb to the second half of the V c. BC. The pyxis has a cylindrical body with a carved handle (fixed to the lid) in the shape of the “Rape of Europe”, that shows some traces of the original polychromy: red for the dress of Europe and blue for the sea on which the bull is running. Some micro-samples were taken and submitted to optical microscopy, X-Ray diffraction, SEM +EDS, FTIR and isotopic analyses, in order to study the origin of the marble and the nature of pigments and of the mean used to paint and to glue the handle to the lid of the pyxis. The results obtained indicate that the pyxis was made by the famous lychnites marble from the quarries of Stephani in the island of Paros (Greece), where the object was most likely carved; that the red pigment is vermilion mixed to a small amount of red ochre, and the blue is Egyptian blue; that the adhesive was made of lime mixed with small amounts of a quartz-aggregate and of a wax to delay the setting of lime and obtain a better adhesion of the handle to the lid.

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