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The objective of the internship is to gain insights into the degradation processes taking place over the illustrated papyruses of the Champollion collection. In a preliminary investigation, we identified different sulphate-based phases in the red and the yellow regions, as well as several chloride-based phases in the green and white regions. The reaction mechanisms resulting in the presence of these degradation phases is still not well understood. In order to investigate the reaction paths leading to the degradation affecting the different colored regions, a series of papyrus fragments will be mapped using synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fluorescence (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Elemental and structural maps will be reconstructed in order to gain insight into the distribution of the degradation products in each of the colored regions and at their interfaces, in relation with the chemical reactions leading to the degradation affecting the different colored regions. The experimental results will be confronted with the literature.

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