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Recent Studies of Cartheginian Era Tyrian Purple Artifacts

"A sample of purple clay earth dating back to the third century BC is analyzed by several techniques such as HPLC, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy.... The precious colorant turn out to be true animal purple, which was, among other things, used in dyeing by the Phoenicians and the Romans. The support of the colorant was found to be essentially clay containing titanium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium.... Several interesting questions remain to be elucidated. For instance, it is not clear why the colorant was mixed with clay. We hope that other techniques such as Synchrotron Radiation analysis can bring a new insight to this exciting problem. In particular, we hope to find out more about the possible link between Maya blue and Punic Zembra purple."

Author(s):  KARMOUS, Tijani; Housam BINOUS and Naceur AYED
Format:  Presentation
Source:  Applications of Synchrotron Techniques in Art and Archaeology Workshop 27th Annual SSRL Users Meeting, Stanford, CA. - October 18th, 2000