Investigating gilding techniques on Gandharan stone sculptures and architectural components: a preliminary note
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A series of samples taken from gilded Gandharan sculpted objects in schist (both portable artifacts and architectural decorative components), coming from different sacred sites of ancient Gandhara and the Swat valley, are in the course of analytical inspection. They are studied by the means of different archaeometric techniques. Although, given the precarious conservation and rarity of the objects available for analysis, our preliminar results cannot be generalized, the emerging evidence is discussed in the light of the gilding technologies so far described in other cultural areas and periods. It is also argued that, in the Gandharan cultual complexes, the surface of sacred images might be covered with diverging procedures, dictated by various technical and/or religious concerns.