Multi-analytical study of 14th to 19th century illuminated Moroccan manuscripts

Ghizlane Idrissi Serhrouchni, Latifa Hajji, Mohammed Talbi, Abdelhadi Lhassani, M’Hammed H. El Kouali, Sofia Pessanha, Maria Luísa Carvalho, Marta Manso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Moroccan manuscripts heritage preserves valuable information regarding different fields of Arabian history and culture. Despite this fact, analytical studies carried out in Moroccan manuscripts are scarce. In this work, we made use of a multi-analytical methodology to study, for the first time, four illuminated manuscripts from the Royal library of Rabat covering the span 14th to 19th centuries. The chemical structure of inks and paper support was identified. Elemental distribution obtained by micro-energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (μ-EDXRF) showed the use of iron, copper and vermillion in black, blue and red inks, respectively. Arsenic and lead were identified as orange inks in the 17th and 19th century manuscripts, respectively. Quantitative characterization of the paper supports obtained by triaxial geometry EDXRF spectrometry showed high levels of sulphur, chlorine and potassium. Regarding the study of the manuscripts support, cellulose Iβ was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) in all the analyzed samples. Cellulose fibers observations by scanning electron microscopy showed that the manuscripts are in general, in a good condition. Calcite is the main filler determined by XRD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number542
JournalEuropean Physical Journal Plus
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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