Research ArticleANTHROPOLOGY

Medieval women’s early involvement in manuscript production suggested by lapis lazuli identification in dental calculus

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Science Advances  09 Jan 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 1, eaau7126
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7126
  • Fig. 1 Dalheim Church of St. Peter and women’s monastery.

    (A) Location of Dalheim and other monasteries discussed in the text. (B) Surviving stone architectural foundations of Dalheim’s Church of St. Peter and attached women’s monastery, shown in the circle (viewed from above and from the west). A modern building has been constructed on the site of the former cemetery. (C) Architectural plan showing the configuration of the church (black), the women’s monastery (light brown), and the location of the excavated portion of the cemetery (green). (D) Schematic view of the burial locations within the cemetery. The burial location of individual B78 is marked in green. Credit: C. Warinner.

  • Fig. 2 Blue particles observed embedded within archaeological dental calculus.

    (A) Archaeological tooth from individual B78 showing attached dental calculus deposits before sampling. (B) View of blue particles embedded within a large piece of intact dental calculus, as well as a blue particle already freed from dental calculus. (C to I) Multiple blue particles observed following sonication of dental calculus. Note the frequent co-occurrence of associated colorless minerals. Images (B) to (I) are shown to the same scale, as indicated in (I). Credit: C. Warinner (A); M. Tromp and A. Radini (B to I).

  • Fig. 3 Elemental composition of archaeological blue particle and blue reference pigments measured by EDS.

    (A) Blue particle isolated from medieval dental calculus. (B) Afghan lazurite reference pigment (RC, 410-15). (C) Azurite reference pigment (RC, 410-10). (D) Smalt reference pigment (RC, 417-14). (E) Vivianite reference pigment (RC, 410-20). The archaeological blue particles lack copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), and iron (Fe) but closely match the spectrum produced by the tectosilicate lazurite. Scale bars, 20 μm. Additional reference spectra are provided in fig. S7. Raw data are provided in data file S2. Credit: M. Tromp.

  • Fig. 4 Confirmation of lazurite mineral using micro-Raman spectroscopy.

    Matching micro-Raman spectra are produced by archaeological blue particles and lazurite crystals in reference pigments from both modern lapis lazuli and a blue pigment from a medieval fresco painting that was previously identified as lapis lazuli (21). Inset: Optical image of archaeological blue particle. Raw data are provided in data file S3. Credit: A. Radini, E. Tong, R. Kröger.

  • Fig. 5 Confirmation of the phyllosilicate phlogopite mineral found adjacent to lazurite particles using micro-Raman spectroscopy.

    Matching micro-Raman spectra of the colorless particle and a published reference spectrum of phlogopite (23), an accessory mineral that co-occurs with lazurite in natural lapis lazuli stone. Inset: Optical image of archaeological colorless particle. Raw data are provided in data file S3. Credit: A. Radini, E. Tong, R. Kröger.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/1/eaau7126/DC1

    Supplementary Text

    Fig. S1. Radiocarbon date for Dalheim individual B78 bone collagen.

    Fig. S2. Distribution of dental calculus deposits on the dentition of individual B78.

    Fig. S3. Comparison of blue particle appearance following HCl decalcification versus sonication in ultrapure water.

    Fig. S4. Comparison of the effects of 0.05 M HCl, 0.1 M EDTA, and saliva on reference pigments.

    Fig. S5. In situ distribution of blue particles in the dental calculus of B78 following sonication in ultrapure water.

    Fig. S6. Blue particles recovered from lips and saliva during lapis lazuli grinding experiment.

    Fig. S7. Elemental composition of additional reference pigments.

    Table S1. Blue mineral pigments known in medieval Europe.

    Table S2. Mean size of archaeological blue particles and reference pigments.

    Table S3. Characterization of airborne dust on lips and in saliva during lapis lazuli grinding.

    Data file S1. Archaeological blue particle size and count.

    Data file S2. Elemental composition data generated by SEM-EDS for archaeological blue particles and reference pigments.

    Data file S3. Raman spectral data for archaeological particles and reference lapis lazuli.

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Text
    • Fig. S1. Radiocarbon date for Dalheim individual B78 bone collagen.
    • Fig. S2. Distribution of dental calculus deposits on the dentition of individual B78.
    • Fig. S3. Comparison of blue particle appearance following HCl decalcification versus sonication in ultrapure water.
    • Fig. S4. Comparison of the effects of 0.05 M HCl, 0.1 M EDTA, and saliva on reference pigments.
    • Fig. S5. In situ distribution of blue particles in the dental calculus of B78 following sonication in ultrapure water.
    • Fig. S6. Blue particles recovered from lips and saliva during lapis lazuli grinding experiment.
    • Fig. S7. Elemental composition of additional reference pigments.
    • Table S1. Blue mineral pigments known in medieval Europe.
    • Table S2. Mean size of archaeological blue particles and reference pigments.
    • Table S3. Characterization of airborne dust on lips and in saliva during lapis lazuli grinding.

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    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Data file S1 (Microsoft Excel format). Archaeological blue particle size and count.
    • Data file S2 (Microsoft Excel format). Elemental composition data generated by SEM-EDS for archaeological blue particles and reference pigments.
    • Data file S3 (Microsoft Excel format). Raman spectral data for archaeological particles and reference lapis lazuli.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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