Something Old... Something Blue
Lapis lazuli found in dental calculus paints a different picture of medieval gender roles
Joanna Cummings | | Quick Read
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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