Microscopic techniques to study mineral materials in cultural heritage
organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and BDA - Federal Monuments Authority Austria
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
Dipl.-Geol. 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
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).
The address: Stubenring 3, in the 1st district of Vienna.