Characterization of mural paintings from Cacaxtla

M. Ortega-Avilés, C. M. San-Germán, D. Mendoza-Anaya, D. Morales, M. Jose-Yacaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


One of the most remarked customs of ancient mesoamerican cultures was that of record historical events by painting murals. It was used a rich variety of colours which is still visible in some mesoamerican buildings. In this work is reported the analysis by SEM, TEM, XRD, and FTIR, of the materials used to produce mural paintings of the archaeological zone of Cacaxtla Mexico. The results show needle-like fibers, granular aggregates and large crystalline areas. The elemental analysis reveal a substantial concentration of O, Ca and C, followed by Si, Mg, Al, Fe, and K in lower concentration. It was found the main component in the substrate is calcite. It is also relevant the presence of palygorskite in blue and green pigments, hematite in red and pink, and calcite in white. It was also possible to identify long fibers of palygorskite on whose surface there were observed nanoparticles of metallic oxides attached.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2236
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Materials Science
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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