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Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy, Microscopy

Something Old... Something Blue

According to a recent discovery by an international research team, when it came to producing illuminated manuscripts, women in the Middle Ages really got their teeth stuck into the process.

They analyzed the teeth of a female skeleton found in Dalheim, Germany, and discovered a blue pigment in the dental calculus. Micro-Raman spectroscopy confirmed it was lapis lazuli, a mineral used for coloring the manuscripts at the time, and more recently as a semi-precious stone in jewelry.

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About the Author

Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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