Abstract The utility of a phantom material, based on SMR(L) [Standard Malaysian Rubber] grade natural rubber and a formulation used for the proprietary rubber phantom-material, Temex, has been examined for the 1-MeV photon-energy range using γ radiation from a 60Co source. Measurement has also been performed with 60-keV photons using the radionuclide 241Am. At photon-therapy energy levels the measured response, when compared with tabulated central-axis percentage depth doses for the defined measuring conditions, produces everywhere (in the range 1–19 cm depth) better than 2% deviation. The favourable measured response characteristics combined with the ease of processing and casting the phantom material provide the basis for useful radiotherapy machine calibration and anthropomorphic dosimetry measurements. The measured mass-attenuation coefficient, at 60 keV, of 0.204 cm 2 g -1 (±3%) is in close agreement with tabulated values for water (0.2055 cm 2 g -1).