In the Ancient American Southwest, Turkeys Were Friends, Not Food | Smart News

A blanket made by early 13th-century Indigenous peoples in what is now the southwestern United States featured more than 11,000 turkey feathers woven into almost 200 yards of yucca fiber, new research shows. The findings—published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports—shed light on farming practices among the ancestral Puebloans, forebears of modern Hopi, Zuni and Rio Grande Pueblo nations, reports Jennifer Ouellette for Ars Technica.

The researchers say the region’s people began to switch from blankets made of rabbit skin strips to turkey-feather designs during the first two centuries A.D.

“As ancestral Pueblo farming populations flourished, many thousands of feather blankets would likely have been in circulation at any one time,” says co-author Shannon Tushingham, an anthropologist at Washington State University (WSU), in a statement. “It is likely that every member of an ancestral Pueblo community, from infants to adults, possessed one.”

Though the region’s early inhabitants had farmed turkeys prior to the 12th century, they only started using the birds as a food source around 1100 or 1200, when wild game became scarce due to overhunting. Previously, the study’s authors say, people painlessly plucked mature feathers from molting birds. This technique allowed them to harvest feathers several times per year over a bird’s lifetime of 10 years or more. Researchers have found that turkeys were often buried whole, pointing toward their significance to the people who raised them.

“The birds that supplied the feathers were likely being treated as individuals important to the household and would have been buried complete,” says the paper’s lead author, Bill Lipe, also an anthropologist at WSU. “This reverence for turkeys and their feathers is still evident today in Pueblo dances and rituals. They are right up there with eagle feathers as being symbolically and culturally important.”

Per the statement, the researchers conducted their analysis on a blanket from southeastern Utah. On display at the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding, the textile measures 39 by 42.5 inches. Insects had destroyed the cloth’s feather vanes and barbs, but feather shafts wrapped in the woven yucca fiber remained visible, according to Ars Technica. The scientists also examined a smaller intact blanket that appeared to be from the same time period. They found that the craftspeople who made the two blankets used body feathers from the birds’ backs and breasts.

turkey feather blankets
The researchers studied an intact blanket, as well as the cords remaining after insects destroyed feather material on a larger blanket.

(Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, Blanding, Utah / Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports)

The Puebloans’ blanket-making process survives to this day: In 2018, Mary Weahkee, an archaeologist at the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, taught herself to weave turkey-feather blankets using the 1,000-year old technique, reports Alexa Henry for New Mexico Wildlife magazine. Producing a 2- by 3-foot blanket took her 18 months and required 17,000 feathers from 68 turkeys.

“I looked at how the ancestors were creative and patient,” Weahkee, who is of

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Lead-based inks likely used as a drying agent on ancient Egyptian papyri

Detail of a medical treatise from the Tebtunis Temple Library with headings marked in red ink.
Enlarge / Detail of a medical treatise from the Tebtunis Temple Library with headings marked in red ink.

The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection

An international team of scientists used high-energy X-rays to analyze 12 fragments from ancient Egyptian papyri and found lead compounds in both red and black inks used. According to their recent paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this is evidence that these compounds were added not for pigmentation but for their fast-drying properties, to prevent the ink from smearing as people wrote. Painters in 15th-century Europe used a similar technique when developing oil paints, but this study suggests ancient Egyptians discovered it 1,400 years earlier. So the practice may have been much more widespread than previously assumed.

“Our analyses of the inks on the papyri fragments from the unique Tebtunis Temple Library revealed previously unknown compositions of red and black inks, particularly iron-based and lead-based compounds,” said co-author Thomas Christiansen, an Egyptologist from the University of Copenhagen.

As I’ve written previously, synchrotron radiation is a thin beam of very high-intensity X-rays generated within a particle accelerator. Electrons are fired into a linear accelerator to boost their speeds and then injected into a storage ring. They zoom through the ring at near-light speed as a series of magnets bend and focus the electrons. In the process, they give off X-rays, which can then be focused down beamlines. This is useful for analyzing structure because in general, the shorter the wavelength used (and the higher the energy of the light), the finer the details one can image and/or analyze.

That’s what makes synchrotron radiation particularly useful for analyzing art and other priceless artifacts, among other applications. Back in 2008, European scientists used synchrotron radiation to reconstruct the hidden portrait of a peasant woman painted by Vincent van Gogh. The artist (known for re-using his canvases) had painted over it when he created 1887’s Patch of Grass. The synchrotron radiation excites the atoms on the canvas, which then emit X-rays of their own that can be picked up by a fluorescence detector. Each element in the painting has its own X-ray signature, so scientists can identify the distribution of each in the many layers of paint.

Last year, we reported on the work of a team of Dutch and French scientists who used high-energy X-rays to unlock Rembrandt’s secret recipe for his famous impasto technique, believed to be lost to history. Impasto (translated as “dough” or “mixture”) involves applying paint to the canvas in very thick layers. It’s usually done with oil paint because of the thick consistency and slow drying time, although it’s possible to add acrylic gels as a thickening agent to get a similar effect with acrylics. Rembrandt used it to represent folds in clothing or jewels, among other objects, in his paintings. The scientists discovered the presence of a mineral called plumbonacrite in the impasto layer—an uncommon element in paints from that period.

And earlier this year, we reported on

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A possible way to measure ancient rate of cosmic ray strikes using ‘paleo-detectors’

A possible way to measure ancient rate of cosmic ray strikes using 'paleo-detectors'
Relentless barrage. Cosmic rays collide with molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, creating showers of particles that include neutrinos. The neutrinos can penetrate deep within Earth’s surface, where they may leave a cosmic-ray record in buried rocks. Credit: NSF/J.Yang/via Physics

An international team of researchers has proposed a way to indirectly measure the rate of cosmic rays striking the Earth over millions of years. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, they suggest using the imprints made by atmospheric neutrinos in so-called “paleo-detectors”—natural minerals expressing damage tracks resulting from nuclear recoils.


Every moment of every day, the Earth is bombarded by cosmic rays—most of them are light nuclei and protons. And as those cosmic rays pass through the atmosphere, some of them collide with atoms, smashing them apart and resulting in the production of neutrinos, which rain down on the planet. Astrophysicists have noted that a method to study the history of this bombardment could reveal more about the sources of cosmic rays. In this new effort, the researchers suggest that rocks hidden deep beneath the Earth’s surface may hold just such a record.

Prior research has shown that when neutrinos are produced in the atmosphere, they can pass all the way through the Earth and head out into space. But for some, the journey ends when they collide with atoms inside of rock deep below the Earth’s surface. This creates a debris path that displaces some of the atoms in the crystal that comprises the rock. Physicists call them nuclear recoils.

The researchers suggest that it should be possible to extract some of this rock and to study the nuclear recoils to learn more about the history of cosmic rays striking the planet. To find out if that might be possible, the team has been conducting experiments to estimate the likelihood of finding nuclear recoils in various kinds of rock. The experiments resulted in the construction of computer simulations. And the simulations have shown that the estimated length of some of the nuclear recoils should be in the range of 2-20 or 50-100 micrometers long—ranges that would be distinguishable from other background sources. The researchers suggest that nuclear recoil found in deep rock samples could provide a record of cosmic ray strikes going back 1 billion years. Getting those samples, they note, would require some effort—traditional bore holes would expose the samples to strikes that are happening today, so they would have to be shielded somehow.


New properties of cosmic rays, silicon, magnesium and neon found by Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer aboard ISS


More information:
Johnathon R. Jordan et al. Measuring Changes in the Atmospheric Neutrino Rate over Gigayear Timescales, Physical Review Letters (2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.231802

U-M press release: sciencex.com/wire-news/3682796 … rust-to-measure.html

© 2020 Science X Network

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A possible way to measure ancient rate of cosmic ray strikes using ‘paleo-detectors’ (2020, December 1)
retrieved 1 December 2020
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Maya Water System Discoveries Show the Ancient Civilization in a New Light

During the two centuries Western archaeologists have excavated and investigated ancient Maya sites, comparatively little time has been spent understanding the structures that kept cities functioning for centuries. “Unfortunately, there’s this almost 200 year legacy of people focused on burial chambers and temples and hieroglyphics,” says Kenneth Tankersley, an archaeological geologist at the University of Cincinnati. “No one had been asking the question, ‘well, how did these people survive in this biologically stressful environment?'”

But over time, a decidedly mundane portion of ancient Maya life has entered the spotlight: water management. Research and excavations have gradually shown that ancient civilizations in what is now Mexico, Guatemala and Belize modified landscapes to ensure regional water cycles worked for farmers and fed thriving cities. In a stretch of land hit with alternating hurricanes and droughts, Maya ancestors scooped out reservoirs and dug drainage systems capable of holding and transporting water. And the more researchers learn, the more the forged landscapes shine as marvels of ancient Maya culture.

A Flawed Western Perspective

When early archaeologists first examined ancient Maya remains, they fixated on wealth and power, such as temples, graves and their extravagant contents. This was in part because the investigators themselves were rich. The work was a hobby conducted and funded by wealthy Europeans. “Early gentlemen scholars were interested in the elite because they were elite,” says Adrian Chase, an archaeologist at Arizona State University. Europeans also first arrived in Central America on a quest for wealth. That attitude — and search — bled into the first archaeological explorations. Additionally, Western ideas about agriculture influenced how researchers thought residents could put land to use. Dense jungle seemed somewhat impossible to transform into agricultural fields for those who were used to seeing flat plains.

As research continued over the years, archaeologists began to reconsider their assumptions. In the 1970s, attempts to map Tikal, a major Maya city in Guatemala, showed that it was so densely populated that the inhabitants must have relied on a kind of agriculture that farmed the same plots of land repeatedly. It seemed to be the only way to feed a relatively packed metropolis.

Further excavations showed that terraces, or giant shallow steps, carved into hillsides contain layers of modified soil. Each step carries so few rocks that residents must have intentionally removed material from the Earth, and the design of each step allowed water to flow from one to the next.

In the early 2000s, LiDAR technology made its way into ancient Maya research projects. The imaging system emits bursts of radar beams from above and builds a topographic map of the land below by tracking where each of those beams makes contact. LiDAR maps can show a landscape as if it were stripped of any plants — a particularly handy feature when working with former Maya settlements now covered in dense jungle.

With this technology, archaeologists started to see the landscape features, reservoirs and terraces with exceptional detail. They also saw buried infrastructure they didn’t necessarily know

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Melting Ice in Norway Reveals Ancient Arrows | Smart News

A melting ice patch in Norway has revealed the remnants of dozens of arrows and other artifacts, some dating to the Stone Age, Chris Baraniuk reports for New Scientist.

Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Oslo and Bergen have discovered 68 arrow shafts, some with arrowheads attached. The arrowheads are made of a range of materials, including bone, slate, iron and mussel shell. In some cases, the ice even preserved twine and tar used to hold the arrow together. They published their findings earlier this week in the journal The Holocene.

William Taylor, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who was not involved in the study, tells New Scientist that the discoveries represent a “treasure trove” not usually found in a single patch of melting ice.

“You might expect a handful of items if you were lucky,” he says. “It’s extremely rare and extremely important.”

The researchers found the artifacts at the Langfonne ice patch in Norway’s Jotunheimen Mountains. Back in 2006, glacier archaeologist Reidar Marstein found a well-preserved shoe at the site.

“We thought that the shoe could perhaps be as old as the Viking Age if we were lucky,” archaeologist Lars Holgar Pilø, of the Innlandet County Council Department of Cultural Heritage, writes on Secrets of the Ice, a website maintained by the researchers. “When the radiocarbon date came back it turned out to be much older—3300 years old, from the Early Bronze Age. That find was a real shocker for us.”

Since then, the team has delved into the site, discovering artifacts spanning more than 5,000 years. The oldest are around 6,000 years old, while the most recent are from around 1300 A.D. Given hundreds of reindeer antlers and bones left on the ice, the researchers say the area has been a good hunting spot for millennia.

The finds are the product of a dramatic reduction in ice at the patch due to climate change. It is now less than 30 percent of its size just 20 years ago, and it has split into three different patches.

arrow
The team found arrows used to hunt reindeer from the Stone Age through the medieval era.

(Secrets of the Ice / Glacier Archaeology Program, Innlandet County Council)

Andrew Curry reports at National Geographic that, early on in their investigation of the ice patch artifacts, researchers believed that items were preserved in a clear chronological fashion, which meant it would be possible to look back at how human activity changed as the ice patch grew or shrunk. But, as it turned out, arrows from totally different eras were discovered close together.

“The idea that you find the oldest evidence when the ice patch is at its smallest—that isn’t really true,” Montana State Parks archaeologist Rachel Reckin, who was not part of the research team, tells National Geographic. “It looks like gravity and water are moving artifacts down a great deal.”

However, using radiocarbon dating to check the age of different items does reveal usage patterns. In some

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Humans in ancient Turkey adapted to climate change and thrived

Oct. 30 (UPI) — Climate change can trigger societal collapse and force populations to move, but not always.

New archaeological research suggests populations in ancient Turkey were able to adapt and flourish in the face of two periods of climate change, occurring between 4,500 and 3,000 years ago.

The findings — published this week in the journal PLOS One — suggest human responses to climate change are surprisingly variable. The challenges presented by climate change can stress societies beyond the breaking point, but also provide opportunities for resiliency and ingenuity.

For the study, researchers collected and analyzed local, fine-scale archeological data across a northern portion of the Levant known as Tell Tayinat. The Levant is a historical region of human occupation that stretches across the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

“The study shows the end of the Early Bronze Age occupation at Tayinat was a long and drawn out affair that, while it appears to coincide with the onset of a mega-drought 4,200 years ago, was actually the culmination of processes that began much earlier,” Tim Harrison said in a news release.

“The archaeological evidence does not point towards significant local effects of the climate episode, as there is no evidence of drought stress in crops,” said Harrison, a professor of archaeology at the University of Toronto and director of the Tayinat Archaeological Project.

Instead, researchers found archaeological evidence of local political and spatial reconfiguration.

Some of the earliest cities and state-level societies were established in the Levant and surrounding Middle East, during the mid-to late Early Bronze Age, between 3000 and 2000 B.C., and the Late Bronze Age, between 1600 and 1200 B.C.

These novel systems of social and political organization proved unstable, with both periods culminating in collapse.

Without precise, fine-scale archaeological evidence, researchers were unable to tease out detailed changes in societal activity. As a result, archaeologists turned to shifts in climate to explain the societal collapses that marked the ends of the early and late Bronze Age.

Using radiocarbon dating, researchers created a more fine-scale timeline of societal activity at Tayinat during two periods of climate change.

“The absolute dating of these periods has been a subject of considerable debate for many years, and this study contributes a significant new dataset that helps address many of the questions,” said lead study author Sturt Manning.

“The detailed chronological resolution achieved in this study allows for a more substantive interpretation of the archaeological evidence in terms of local and regional responses to proposed climate change, shedding light on how humans respond to environmental stress and variability,” said Manning, a professor of classical archaeology at Cornell University.

The more robust archaeological timelines produced by Manning and company revealed a period of resettlement and heightened societal activity some 3,200 years ago, despite a period of heightened aridity. Amidst the threat of climate change, the settlement thrived.

The settlement’s restructuring wasn’t a sign of collapse, the new data showed, but evidence of resilience and adaptation.

“The settlement of Tayinat may

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Ancient Dog DNA Shows Early Spread Around the Globe

Among the other findings, Dr. Larson said he found it particularly intriguing that once dogs had become domesticated, and even while they were sometimes breeding with wolves, no new wolf DNA entered their genomes.

By contrast, pigs, for example, were brought to Europe by farmers from Anatolia. But the genes of those first domesticated pigs have been completely lost, replaced by the genes of wild European boars, even though the pigs stayed domesticated animals.

While dogs do interbreed, no new wolf genes survive over the years. One possibility, Dr. Larson said, is that “wolfiness” just doesn’t fit with an animal as close to people as a dog. Pigs can be a little wild but “if you’re a dog and you’ve got a little bit of wolf in you, that’s not a good thing and those things get knocked on the head very quickly or run away or disappear but they don’t get integrated into the dog population.”

Dr. Skoglund said another intriguing and unexplained finding from the genome data was how fast dogs spread around the globe, and diversified, so that by 11,000 years ago, not only were there five distinct lineages, but some fossil DNA also showed that those lineages had begun to recombine.

“How did that happen?” he said. “In ancient humans, we don’t really know of any human expansion that would have facilitated this, on the order of 15 to 30,000 years ago.”

In the past 11,000 years, he said, the dog genomes showed the evidence similar to that in human genomes of Anatolian farmers moving into Europe. But then there was the sudden loss of diversity in dogs starting around 4,000 years ago.

Also migrations from the steppes changed human genomes in Europe, but had almost no effect on dog genomes. Conversely, migrations from the steppes eastward left an imprint on dog genomic history, but not on humans.

Source Article

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Ancient marine predator had a built-in float

Ancient marine predator had a built-in float
An illustration of Brevicaudosaurus. Credit: Tyler Stone BA ’19, art and cinema; see his website tylerstoneart.wordpress.com

About 240 million years ago, when reptiles ruled the ocean, a small lizard-like predator floated near the bottom of the edges in shallow water, picking off prey with fang-like teeth. A short and flat tail, used for balance, helps identify it as a new species, according to research published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


Paleontologists at the Chinese Academy of Scientists and Canadian Museum of Nature have analysed two skeletons from a thin layer of limestone in two quarries in southwest China. They identified the skeletons as nothosaurs, Triassic marine reptiles with a small head, fangs, flipper-like limbs, a long neck, and normally an even longer tail, probably used for propulsion. However, in the new species, the tail is short and flat.

“Our analysis of two well-preserved skeletons reveals a reptile with a broad, pachyostotic body (denser boned) and a very short, flattened tail. A long tail can be used to flick through the water, generating thrust, but the new species we’ve identified was probably better suited to hanging out near the bottom in shallow sea, using its short, flattened tail for balance, like an underwater float, allowing it to preserve energy while searching for prey,” says Dr. Qing-Hua Shang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing.

The scientists have named the new species Brevicaudosaurus jiyangshanensis, from the Latin ‘brevi’ for ‘short,’ ‘caudo’ for ‘tail,’ and the Greek ‘sauros’ for ‘lizard.’ The most complete skeleton of the two was found in Jiyangshan quarry, giving the specimen its species name. It’s just under 60cm long.

Ancient marine predator had a built-in float
Brevicaudosaurus jiyangshanensis, gen. et sp. nov., skeletons in dorsal view. A, IVPP V 18625, holotype; B, IVPP V 26010, referred specimen. Credit: QING-HUA SHANG, XIAO-CHUN WU and CHUN, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

The skeleton gives further clues to its lifestyle. The forelimbs are more strongly developed than the hind limbs, suggesting they played a role in helping the reptile to swim. However, the bones in the front feet are short compared to other species, limiting the power with which it could pull through the water. Most of its bones, including the vertebrae and ribs, are thick and dense, further contributing to the stocky, stout appearance of the reptile, and limiting its ability to swim quickly but increasing stability underwater.

However, thick, high-mass bones act as ballast. What the reptile lost in speed, it gained in stability. Dense bones, known as pachyostosis, may have made it neutrally buoyant in shallow water. Together with the flat tail, this would have helped the predator to float motionless underwater, requiring little energy to stay horizontal. Neutral buoyancy should also have enabled it to walk on the seabed searching for slow-moving prey.

Highly dense ribs may also suggest the reptile had large lungs. As suggested by the lack of firm support of the body weight, nothosaurs were oceanic nut they needed to come to the water surface for oxygen. They have nostrils

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Ancient lake contributed to past San Andreas fault ruptures

Ancient lake contributed to past San Andreas fault ruptures
San Andreas fault area. Credit: Rebecca Dzombak

The San Andreas fault, which runs along the western coast of North America and crosses dense population centers like Los Angeles, California, is one of the most-studied faults in North America because of its significant hazard risk. Based on its roughly 150-year recurrence interval for magnitude 7.5 earthquakes and the fact that it’s been over 300 years since that’s happened, the southern San Andreas fault has long been called “overdue” for such an earthquake. For decades, geologists have been wondering why it has been so long since a major rupture has occurred. Now, some geophysicists think the “earthquake drought” could be partially explained by lakes—or a lack thereof.


Today, at the Geological Society of America’s 2020 Annual Meeting, Ph.D. student Ryley Hill will present new work using geophysical modeling to quantify how the presence of a large lake overlying the fault could have affected rupture timing on the southern San Andreas in the past. Hundreds of years ago, a giant lake—Lake Cahuilla—in southern California and northern Mexico covered swathes of the Mexicali, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys, through which the southern San Andreas cuts. The lake served as a key point for multiple Native American populations in the area, as evidenced by archaeological remains of fish traps and campsites. It has been slowly drying out since its most recent high water mark (between 1000 and 1500 CE). If the lake over the San Andreas has dried up and the weight of its water was removed, could that help explain why the San Andreas fault is in an earthquake drought?

Some researchers have already found a correlation between high water levels on Lake Cahuilla and fault ruptures by studying a 1,000-year record of earthquakes, written in disrupted layers of soils that are exposed in deeply dug trenches in the Coachella Valley. Hill’s research builds on an existing body of modeling but expands to incorporate this unique 1,000-year record and focuses on improving one key factor: the complexity of water pressures in rocks under the lake.

Hill is exploring the effects of a lake on a fault’s rupture timing, known as lake loading. Lake loading on a fault is the cumulative effect of two forces: the weight of the lake’s water and the way in which that water creeps, or diffuses, into the ground under the lake. The weight of the lake’s water pressing down on the ground increases the stress put on the rocks underneath it, weakening them—including any faults that are present. The deeper the lake, the more stress those rocks are under, and the more likely the fault is to slip.

What’s more complicated is how the pressure of water in empty spaces in soils and bedrock (porewater) changes over both time and space. “It’s not that [water] lubricates the fault,” Hill explains. It’s more about one force balancing another, making it easier or harder for the fault to give way. “Imagine your hands stuck together, pressing in. If you try to slip

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Red and black ink from Egyptian papyri unveil ancient writing practices

Red and black ink from Egyptian papyri unveil ancient writing practices
Detail of a medical treatise (inv. P. Carlsberg 930) from the Tebtunis temple library with headings marked in red ink. Image credit: The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection. Credit: The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection.

Scientists led by the ESRF, the European Synchrotron, Grenoble, France and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have discovered the composition of red and black inks in ancient Egyptian papyri from circa 100-200 AD, leading to a number of hypotheses about writing practices. The analysis, based on synchrotron techniques, shows that lead was probably used as a dryer rather than as a pigment, similar to its usage in 15th-century Europe during the development of oil painting. They have published their results in PNAS.


In ancient Egypt, Egyptians used black ink for writing the main body of text, while red ink was often used to highlight headings, instructions or keywords. During the last decade, many scientific studies have been conducted to elucidate the invention and history of ink in ancient Egypt and in the Mediterranean cultures, for instance ancient Greece and Rome.

The scientists used the powerful X-rays of the ESRF to study the red and black ink in papyri from the Tebtunis temple library, the only large-scale institutional library known to have survived from ancient Egypt. The samples studied in this research project are exceptional, not only because they derive from the famous Tebtunis temple library, but also because the analysis includes as many as 12 ancient Egyptian papyrus fragments, all inscribed with red and black inks.

“By applying 21st century, state-of-the-art technology to reveal the hidden secrets of ancient ink technology, we are contributing to the unveiling the origin of writing practices,” explains Marine Cotte, scientist at the ESRF and co-corresponding author of the paper.

Red and black ink from Egyptian papyri unveil ancient writing practices
A papyrus fragment from a long astrological treatise (inv. P. Carlsberg 89) from the Tebtunis temple library and the ESRF X-ray fluorescence maps showing the distribution of iron (red) and lead (blue) in the red letters that write out the ancient Egyptian word for “star”. Image credit: The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection and the ESRF. Credit: The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection and the ESRF.

“Something very striking was that we found that lead was added to the ink mixture, not as a dye, but as a dryer of the ink, so that the ink would stay on the papyrus,” says Cotte. The researchers came to this conclusion because they did not find any other type of lead, like lead white or minium, which should be present if lead was used as a pigment. “The fact that the lead was not added as a pigment but as a dryer infers that the ink had quite a complex recipe and could not be made by just anyone,” adds Thomas Christiansen, Egyptologist from the University of Copenhagen and co-corresponding author .

A surprising fact is that the ink recipe can be related to paint practices developed many centuries later during the Renaissance. “In the XV Century, when artists rediscovered the oil painting in Europe, the challenge was to

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