Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Representative image of Egyptian blue pigment. Source: Pattadis / Adobe Stock

Tracing the Legacy of Egyptian Blue: From Ancient Artifacts to Modern Insights

Egyptian blue, known in the scientific community as calcium copper silicate, has come to be recognized as a pioneering feat of human creativity. With origins speculated to precede 3000 BC, Egyptian...
Representative image of hands covered with Maya blue pigment. Source: Generated with Adobe Firefly

Maya Sacrificial Victims Were Painted Blue and Tossed into a Sinkhole

In Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula lies a site which was once central to Maya sacrificial rituals—the sacred cenote of Chichen Itza. This natural sinkhole harbors secrets of human sacrifice and religious...
Ancient people seemed to have problems seeing or recognizing the color blue.

Invisible Blue: The Color That Ancient People Could Not See

We have all been told to be ‘careful what we wish for’ or that we ‘only see what we look for’ and maybe some of you have had past partners who claimed that you ‘took them for granted and made them...
Medieval manuscript. Credit: Andrzej Solnica / Adobe Stock

Experts Solve 1000-Year-Old Mystery of Rare Medieval Blue Ink

Portuguese researchers believe that they have identified the long-lost process and plant that provided a unique purple-blue pigment in the Middle Ages . This was used to color many things including...
Egyptian blue pigment: the researchers obtained the nanosheets from this powder. (University of Göttingen

Ancient Egyptian Blue Pigment Revolutionizes Biomedicine

A German research team has produced new nanosheets for near infrared imaging from ancient ‘Egyptian blue pigment’. In October 2018, I wrote an Ancient Origins article about Egyptian blue, a brilliant...
Self portrait of Guda, a 12th century nun and female scribe.

Blue Pigment Found on Medieval Teeth Reveals Secret Existence of Female Scribes

The analysis of human teeth has become increasingly important in modern archaeology. A recent discovery of a set of teeth in a German monastery is revolutionizing our understanding of women in...
Ancient Egyptian pigment provides modern forensics with new coat of paint

Ancient Egyptian pigment provides modern forensics with new coat of paint

It was during a trip to Indianapolis that Professor Simon Lewis, a forensic and analytical chemist, was approached by Gregory Smith from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) with an idea. Smith,...
Tekhelet - Israel

Ancient textile may contain Biblical blue dye lost for 1,300 years

An extremely rare blue dye which adorned the robes of kings, priests, and Jews in ancient times, and which was lost to the world nearly 1,300 years ago, is believed to have been found on a 2,000-year...