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


Radini, A; Tromp, M; Beach, A; Tong, E; Speller, C; McCormick, M; Dudgeon, J V; Collins, M J; Rühli, F; Kröger, R; Warinner, C (2019). Medieval women's early involvement in manuscript production suggested by lapis lazuli identification in dental calculus. Science Advances, 5(1):eaau7126.

Abstract

During the European Middle Ages, the opening of long-distance Asian trade routes introduced exotic goods, including ultramarine, a brilliant blue pigment produced from lapis lazuli stone mined only in Afghanistan. Rare and as expensive as gold, this pigment transformed the European color palette, but little is known about its early trade or use. Here, we report the discovery of lapis lazuli pigment preserved in the dental calculus of a religious woman in Germany radiocarbon-dated to the 11th or early 12th century. The early use of this pigment by a religious woman challenges widespread assumptions about its limited availability in medieval Europe and the gendered production of illuminated texts.

Abstract

During the European Middle Ages, the opening of long-distance Asian trade routes introduced exotic goods, including ultramarine, a brilliant blue pigment produced from lapis lazuli stone mined only in Afghanistan. Rare and as expensive as gold, this pigment transformed the European color palette, but little is known about its early trade or use. Here, we report the discovery of lapis lazuli pigment preserved in the dental calculus of a religious woman in Germany radiocarbon-dated to the 11th or early 12th century. The early use of this pigment by a religious woman challenges widespread assumptions about its limited availability in medieval Europe and the gendered production of illuminated texts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:January 2019
Deposited On:14 Mar 2019 17:36
Last Modified:14 Mar 2019 17:36
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:2375-2548
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau7126
PubMed ID:30662947

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