Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Nov 21, 2017


A fragment from the Tebtunis temple library in the Papyrus Carlsberg Collection.

Until recently, it was assumed that the ink used for writing was primarily carbon-based at least until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. But in a new University of Copenhagen study, analyses of 2,000-year-old papyri fragments with X-ray microscopy show that black ink used by Egyptian scribes also contained copper - an element previously not identified in ancient ink.

In a study published in Scientific Reports, a cross-disciplinary team of researchers show that Egyptians used carbon inks that contained copper, which has not been identified in ancient ink before. Although the analysed papyri fragments were written over a period of 300 years and from different geographical regions, the results did not vary significantly:

"The composition of the copper-containing carbon inks showed no significant differences that could be related to time periods or geographical locations, which suggests that the ancient Egyptians used the same technology for ink production throughout Egypt from roughly 200 BC to 100 AD," says Egyptologist and first author of the study Thomas Christiansen from the University of Copenhagen.

The papyri fragments were investigated with advanced synchrotron radiation based X-ray microscopy equipment at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble as part of the cross-disciplinary CoNext project, and the particles found in the inks indicate that they were by-products of the extraction of copper from sulphurous ores.

No unique ink signature
The studied papyri fragments all form part of larger manuscripts belonging to the Papyrus Carlsberg Collection at the University of Copenhagen, more specifically from two primary sources: the private papers of an Egyptian soldier named Horus, who was stationed at a military camp in Pathyris, and from the Tebtunis temple library, which is the only surviving large-scale institutional library from ancient Egypt.

"None of the four inks studied here was completely identical, and there can even be variations within a single papyrus fragment, suggesting that the composition of ink produced at the same location could vary a great deal. This makes it impossible to produce maps of ink signatures that otherwise could have been used to date and place papyri fragments of uncertain provenance," explains Thomas Christiansen but adds:

"However, as many papyri have been handed down to us as fragments, the observation that ink used on individual manuscripts can differ from other manuscripts from the same source is good news insofar as it might facilitate the identification of fragments belonging to specific manuscripts or sections thereof."

According to the researchers, their results will also be useful for conservation purposes as detailed knowledge of the material's composition could help museums and collections make the right decisions regarding conservation and storage of papyri, thus ensuring their preservation and longevity.

Research Report: "The nature of ancient Egyptian copper-containing carbon inks is revealed by synchrotron radiation based X-ray microscopy"

TECH SPACE
A gel that does not break or dry out
Kobe, Japan (SPX) Nov 16, 2017
Researchers have developed a highly robust gel that includes large amounts of ionic liquid. The research team was led by Professor MATSUYAMA Hideto and Assistant Professor KAMIO Eiji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science, Center for Membrane and Film Technology). These findings were published on November 8 in Advanced Materials. Ionic liquid is a substance made solely from ions, and ... read more

Related Links
University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Humanities
Space Technology News - Applications and Research


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TECH SPACE
New motion sensors major step towards cheaper wearable technology

Can a magnetic sail slow down an interstellar probe

SSL Selected to Conduct Power and Propulsion Study for NASA's Deep Space Gateway Concept

MDA Selects AdaCore's GNAT Pro Assurance Development Platform for ISS Software

TECH SPACE
Aerojet Rocketdyne supports ULA Delta II launch of JPSS-1

Old Rivals India, China Nurture New Rivalry in Satellite Launch Business

NASA launches next-generation weather satellite

SpaceX postpones launch of secretive Zuma mission

TECH SPACE
Winds Blow Dust off the Solar Panels Improving Energy Levels

Recurring Martian Streaks: Flowing Sand, Not Water?

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

NASA Selects Instrument for Future International Mission to Martian Moons

TECH SPACE
China plans for nuclear-powered interplanetary capacity by 2040

China plans first sea based launch by 2018

China's reusable spacecraft to be launched in 2020

Space will see Communist loyalty: Chinese astronaut

TECH SPACE
Space Launch plans UK industry tour

Astronaut meets volcano

European Space Week starts in Estonia

New Chinese sat comms company awaits approval

TECH SPACE
New way to write magnetic info could pave the way for hardware neural networks

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

Metal membranes in construction: From Russia with love

Spin current from heat: New material increases efficiency

TECH SPACE
Lava or Not, Exoplanet 55 Cancri e Likely to have Atmosphere

Images of strange solar system visitor peel away some of the mystery

Familiar-Looking Messenger from Another Solar System

Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests

TECH SPACE
Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected

Jupiter's Stunning Southern Hemisphere

Watching Jupiter's multiple pulsating X-ray Aurora

Help Nickname New Horizons' Next Flyby Target




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement