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  • 1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Instituto de Física Apartado Postal 20-364 01000 México D.F. Mexico
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The characterization of samples of painted plasters obtained from the archaeological site of Xochicalco, in Central Mexico, is presented. Elemental concentrations of the painted layers were obtained by using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE). The main crystalline structures of the samples are identified with the help of X-ray diffraction (XRD), while the microstructure is studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The information resulting from the application of these three techniques is used to achieve more accurate values for the elemental concentrations. Additional data regarding organic components of the paintings was obtained through Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR). Although the latter results only provided reliable data on inorganic components, they help to clarify the results from XRD and confirm those of SEM.