A to X: Antinous, the Alamo, and X-Ray Fluorescence: Using Modern Chemistry to Unlock Ancient and Historical Secrets by Michelle Bushey, National Science Foundation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

John L. Santikos Auditorium


Price: Free | Seating is first come, first served | Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Head of Antinous as Dionysos, Roman, A.D. 130-138, Marble, h. 15 in. (38.1 cm), San Antonio Museum of Art, gift of Gilbert M. Denman, Jr. Photography by Peggy Tenison.

Trinity University research teams have applied modern chemical technologies to local cultural heritage investigations. These include the Roman marble portrait of Antinous at SAMA, and the now faded frescoes of the Alamo. Portable XRF or X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy, is an easy to use and easy to understand tool. XRF indicates which chemical elements are present on a surface. Combined with other data, this can provide informative information on the types of pigments used, and the other types surface decoration features that are no longer visible. With this method, we have determined that the portrait of Antinous once had gilded features, and the Alamo sacristy was once heavily decorated with frescoes and copper leaf.


Seating is limited and first come, first served. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6:00 p.m. Please arrive early.

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