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Color My World a Personal Scientific Odyssey into the Art of Ancient Dyes

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Chapter Summary

The study of the coloring matters produced by the ancients opens a historical window to understanding the processes associated with one of the oldest chemical technologies-textile dyeing. The analytical investigations involve chemical detective work to help decipher the identities and sources of the dyestuffs used in antiquity. Author was asked to head a center dedicated to the analyses of ancient artifacts. He decided that his course of action would be to develop modern, state-of- the-art analytical instrumental methodologies that would reveal the technologies associated with one of the oldest crafts, the dyeing of textiles, and investigate the dyes and pigments associated with the color industry and artistry of antiquity. Thus began the Edelstein Center for the Analysis of Ancient Textiles and Related Artifacts, whose permanent lab was officially inaugurated in 1994. This chapter discusses a number of hitherto unknown discoveries made in the center.

Keywords: ancient artifacts; chemical technologies; coloring matters; dyestuffs; Edelstein Center; textile dyeing



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