Microscopic techniques to study mineral materials in cultural heritage
jointly organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and BDA - Federal Monuments Authority
A workshop for the optimal use of polarized light microscopy and SEM to better understand archaeological
and building materials
Organizers and lecturers
Prof. Dr. Johannes
Weber, petrographer, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Austria
Dr. Farkas Pintér, geologist, BDA Vienna/Austria
Thomas Köberle, geologist, TU Dresden/Germany
“MICROSCOPY IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUE FOR GATHERING
INFORMATION ON HISTORIC ARTEFACTS AND BUILDING MATERIALS”
Background and aim of the Workshop
The analysis of the mineral material of architectural and archaeological objects in the laboratory is frequently a challenging
task for conservation scientists, building researchers and archaeologists. It includes the identification and characterization
of stones, mortars and ceramics as well as the assessment of their structural and material failures. Within the range of various
methods of analysis employed, thin section petrography, especially when combined with SEM, offers a powerful method to gain
relevant information on historical and modern building materials. As for most imaging analyses, the success of this approach
does not only depend on the quality of the sections, but most of all on the skill of the expert in selecting the most appropriate
mode of observation and interpreting the results. Planned as a platform for scientists and experts with a background in mineral
artefacts, the five-day workshop is aimed at demonstrating and discussing the potential of light microscopic and SEM techniques
in the field of restoration, building research, conservation science and archaeology-archaeometry. The main focus is laid
on the thin section analysis of mortars, plasters, concrete, stone and ceramics by applying transmitted and reflective light.
Composition,workmanship and degradation will be discussed.
The group comprises 22 participants from 12 different
countries. Lectures and discussions are in English. They will be jointly held by three conservation scientists with degrees
in geology and petrography and a sound background in the use of different microscopic techniques in their fields. Following
an introduction on methodology, each type of material will be quickly discussed on a general level before displaying via beamer
examples of analysis by microscopy of actual samples. Attendees are invited to forward their wishes to discuss specific topics
more in detail.
The venue is located in the main building of the University of Applied Arts Vienna in the heart of the
historic city center,
a ten minute walk from the Cathedral and other places of interest.
The venue is located in the main building of the University of Applied Arts Vienna in the heart of the historic city center,
a ten minutes walk from the Cathedral and other places of interest. One of the major stations for local trains (including
the one from the airport) and 2 metro lines is at 5 min walking distance (Bahnhof Wien Mitte).
Stubenring 3, in the 1st district of Vienna.