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Article contents

The first direct evidence for the production of Maya Blue: rediscovery of a technology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Dean E. Arnold
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology-Anthropology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, USA (Email: dean.e.arnold@wheaton.edu)
Jason R. Branden
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA (Email: jason.r.branden@gmail.com)
Patrick Ryan Williams
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Email: rwilliams@fmnh.org)
Gary M. Feinman
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Email: rwilliams@fmnh.org)
J. P. Brown
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Email: rwilliams@fmnh.org)

Extract

Maya Blue is a colour that is more than a pigment; it had roles in status, ritual and performance, being daubed onto pots and people before sacrifice. Here researchers use experimental and historical evidence to discover how it was made, including direct scientific analysis of Maya Blue on a pot thrown into the sacred well at Chichén Itzá. The results indicate that the formation of the colour was actually part of the ritual.

Type
Research article
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2008

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