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Subject: Pigments on gold

Pigments on gold

From: Jack Ogden <kerationconsulting>
Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2000
Over the last few years an increasing number of examples of ancient
gold objects with traces of applied pigments have been coming to
light. Like so many things, once something is discovered, dozens
more appear. So far I am aware of instances of red cinnabar pigment
on Classical Greek and Ibero-Phoenician Gold jewellery and an iron
oxide pigment (over a very thin gesso layer) on an Egyptian gold
object of Late of Late Period or Ptolemaic date. Also what I think
might possibly be evidence for a similar use of iron oxide on an
example of Egyptian silver.

So, two points to this message:

    1.  Keep a look out, some of that red (and why not blue or
        green) might not be dirt.

    2.  I would very much like to hear of other examples of the use
        of pigments on gold as and when they come to light.

I am aware that pigment on gold is well known in pre-Colombian
contexts and in Asia (betel nut juice, I've been told), but I would
be grateful for references to any scientific work in these areas.


Dr Jack Ogden
Hohnsen 36
D-31134 Hildesheim
+49 5121 69 16 10

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:17
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 12, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-17-001
Received on Tuesday, 5 September, 2000

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