January 9, 2019, 10:59pm
Here is an article about finding lapislazuli pigment among dental plaque of a German religious woman buried at a cemetery near Dalheim monastery close to Paderborn, and radiocarbon-dated to AD 997–1162:
During the European Middle Ages, the opening of long-distance Asian trade routes introduced exotic goods, including ultramarine, a brilliant blue pigment produced from lapis lazuli stone mined only in Afghanistan. Rare and as expensive as gold, this pigment transformed the European color palette, but little is known about its early trade or use. Here, we report the discovery of lapis lazuli pigment preserved in the dental calculus of a religious woman in Germany radiocarbon-dated to the 11th or early 12th century. The early use of this pigment by a religious woman challenges widespread assumptions about its limited availability in medieval Europe and the gendered production of illuminated texts.
January 10, 2019, 10:49am
I love hearing about this kind of thing. It must've been very exciting for the academics. Thanks for posting it!