Special Issue "Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Museum and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Image courtesy of © Trustees of the British Museum

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Joanne Dyer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Scientific Research, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Interests: colours and colourants; pigments; dyes; textiles; sculpture; ancient painting techniques and craft practices; noninvasive techniques; multispectral imaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The subject of colour in the ancient world has long fascinated scholars. Within the realm of Classical art, historians stretching back to the late eighteenth century have periodically addressed the topic that sculpture and architectural elements from the Greco-Roman world, and beyond, were originally highly coloured.

Recently, interest in this field has once more been reinvigorated by the advent of new scientific techniques and methodologies, as well as by a community of diverse and interdisciplinary scholars, dedicated to the study of the polychromy of ancient sculpture and architecture.

Since 2009, this network of scholars has met on a series of occasions, known as the Polychromy Round Table, first held annually and, since 2016, biennially. In 2018, the event was hosted at the British Museum. In the tradition of previous round tables, it provided an excellent opportunity for experts from a wide range of fields (archaeologists, art historians, scientists, conservators and digital humanities professionals) to discuss new research in a stimulating multidisciplinary setting. Papers from a variety of perspectives were encouraged and covered many aspects of polychromy in ancient sculpture and architecture.

This Special Issue collects the contributions to this symposium but, in the inclusive spirit of the Polychromy Round Table and its network, also invites articles from other researchers who may be considering the subject of ancient polychromy from the Greco-Roman world or relevant comparative studies from their own interdisciplinary viewpoints, geographical areas and time periods.

Contributions are therefore invited on, but not restricted to, the following topics:

  • Studies on ancient polychromy from the Greco-Roman world and beyond;
  • Innovative approaches to the study and/or documentation of ancient polychromy (microscopy, spectroscopy, imaging);
  • Studies on ancient pigments, painting techniques and craftsmanship;
  • Investigation of organic molecules that may form part of painted surfaces; pigments, binders or finishes (such as waxes or varnishes);
  • Conservation aspects and challenges in treating the remains of ancient colour;
  • Novel strategies for the reconstruction and/or display of ancient polychrome pieces;
  • Documentation and preservation challenges when dealing with ancient polychrome finds on archaeological sites.

Dr. Joanne Dyer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • ancient polychromy
  • ancient pigments
  • ancient painting techniques and craftsmanship
  • conservation
  • reconstruction
  • non-invasive analysis
  • innovative methodologies
  • archaeology
  • documentation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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