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Science Daily: Anthropology News

  • Unusual use of blue pigment found in ancient mummy portraits

    In an unexpected discovery, a research team of scientists and art conservators has found an unusual use of the pigment Egyptian blue in Roman-era Egyptian mummy portraits. No blue is visible to the naked eye in the paintings, but when the researchers used analytical tools for an in-depth study, they discovered the ancient artists used the pigment as material for underdrawings and for modulating color -- a finding never before documented.

  • Where bread began: Ancient tools used to reconstruct -- and taste -- prehistoric cuisine

    A group of intrepid Israeli researchers recently went back to the dawn of the Stone Age to make lunch. Using 12,500-year-old conical mortars carved into bedrock, they reconstructed how their ancient ancestors processed wild barley to produce groat meals, as well as a delicacy that might be termed 'proto-pita' -- small loaves of coal-baked, unleavened bread. In so doing, they re-enacted a critical moment in the rise of civilization.

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