Codicological Analysis of a Mesoamerican codex, the Codex Borbonicus

Real title Study and Characterization of Cultural Artifact : Codicological Analysis of a Mesoamerican codex, the Codex Borbonicus

Subject In recent years, non-invasive analytical methods are applied to the study and the understanding of the few Mesoamerican codices that have survived. In France, the National Assembly conserves the codex Borbonicus considered as the most important manuscripts known by its size (0.4 x 14 m), the quality of its illustrations and which has never been studied in its materiality. The proposed research aims not only to provide a better codicological

understanding of this artefact, to understand the mode of production by characterizing materials (support, binders, dyes and pigments) and its structure but also provide conservation strategies and appropriate exhibition recommandations. This work involves the use of a hand-held instruments for non-invasive analysis: hyperspectral imaging associated with various portable instruments (fluorescence spectroscopy, FORS, FTIR, Raman, XRF, XRD, etc.), development of a database for materials (dyes, pigments, binders, fibers) and the study of aging of some components. These results allow to assess the homogeneity of the document, the nature and origin of such materials based on existing resources and work carried on in Europe and America. This information will be compared and discussed with historians and curators in charge of these manuscripts which will take part into a scientific committee to monitor the doctoral research, and also within an international group of researchers gathered around these issues. Applicants should have a Masters degree in materials science, physics or chemistry, with a good knowledge of non-invasive analysis. Some experience in the laboratory with non invasive analysis applied to cultural heritage would be preferable. Knowledge of issues related to cultural heritage and capacity for dialogue and working at the interface between the human sciences and the natural sciences will be appreciated.This thesis is co-funded by the Fondation des sciences du patrimoine and the National Assembly of France. The host laboratory will be the Centre de recherche sur la conservation des collections, USR 3224, under the umbrella of the CNRS, the National Museum of Natural History and the Ministry of Culture and Communication, France. This PhD will be carried out in the doctoral school No. 417 "Science and Engineering" at the University of Cergy-Pontoise. The student will be working on other sites in France and abroad. Fluency in English is required and the Spanish an asset. Interested candidates should email their curriculum vitae, a cover letter outlining research experience and interests, along with the names and addresses of two referees by July 10th 2013, to Prof. Olivier Romain, Prof. Bertrand Lavédrine and Prof. Christine Andraud