Investigation on a Religious Gilded Wooden Tablet using Terahertz Time-Domain Imaging

Mr. Edgar Santiago Reyes-Reyes1, Prof. Ramón Carriles-Jaimes1, Mr. Emanuele D'Angelo2, Mr. Saad Nazir3, Ms. Corinna Ludovica Koch-Dandolo1,4, Prof. Falko Kuester5, Prof. Peter Uhd Jepsen2, Prof. Enrique Castro-Camus1,3
1Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica, A.C., León, Mexico. 2Department of Electrical and Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. 3Department of Physics and Material Sciences Center, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany. 4University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Manno, Switzerland. 5Department of Structural Engineering, University of California., San Diego, USA


Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy (THz-TDS), a non-destructuve method in heritage science, was used to analyzed the state of preservation of the Russian icon "Our Lady of Kazan". The study revealed metallic elements in the artwork and signs of previous restoration work, along with a unique paint layer around the faces and necks of the characters in the painting. Additionally, we detected mercury sulfide in specific areas, indicating potential retouches. Despite limited historical information, this investigation holds promise for guiding future restoration work and demostrates the potential of THz-TDS in assesing cultural artifacts.