Discovery of the First Evidence for Pre-Columbian Sources of Maya Blue
ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2012) — Once again, science and anthropology have teamed up to solve questions concerning the fascinating, brilliantly hued pigment known as Maya Blue. Impervious to the effects of chemical or physical weathering, the pigment was applied to pottery, sculpture, and murals in Mesoamerica largely during the Classic and Postclassic periods (AD 250-1520), playing a central role in ancient Maya religious practice. This unusual blue paint was used to coat the victims of human sacrifice and the altars on which they were dispatched.
For some time, scientists have known that Maya Blue is formed through the chemical combination of indigo and the clay mineral palygorskite. Only now, however, have researchers established a link between contemporary indigenous knowledge and ancient sources of the mineral.
In a paper published online in the Journal of Archaeological Science on March 16, 2012, researchers from Wheaton College, The Field Museum of Natural History, the United States Geological Survey, California State University of Long Beach, and the Smithsonian Institution, demonstrated that the palygorskite component in some of the Maya Blue samples came from mines in two locations in Mexico's northern Yucatan Peninsula....
comments powered by Disqus
- In France, Vestiges of the Great War’s Bloody End
- New Evidence Supporting Volcanoes as Cause for Mass Extinction and Rapid Climate Change
- Film Conjures Era That Some in Selma Would Rather Not Revisit
- White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier
- The best history books of 2014 – as rated by historians
- Martin Kramer says Israelis have "no clue” that Ari Shavit “has added a massacre in the city of Lydda to the litany of Israel’s alleged crimes in 1948"
- Carleton Mabee, Biographer of Morse, Dies at 99
- NYT editorial cites work of Harvard's Sven Beckert and Cornell’s Edward Baptist
- Majors in history earn more than others in the humanities
- The director of Mount Vernon’s library says it’s difficult to pierce the Washington myth (Interview)