Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Blood Found On Sculptures From Kingdom Of Mali

Date:
December 8, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting for the first time that sculptors from the fantastically wealthy ancient Empire of Mali -- once the source of almost half the world's gold -- used blood to form the beautiful patina, or coating, on their works of art. They describe development of a new, noninvasive test that accurately identifies traces of blood apparently left on ancient African artifacts used in ceremonies involving animal sacrifices.

A new, highly-sensitive analytical test was used to confirm the presence of blood in the coating of this animal-like artifact used in ancient Mali rituals.
Credit: Pascale Richardin, Center for Research and Restoration for the Museums of France

Scientists in France are reporting for the first time that sculptors from the fantastically wealthy ancient Empire of Mali -- once the source of almost half the world's gold -- used blood to form the beautiful patina, or coating, on their works of art. Pascale Richardin and colleagues describe development of a new, noninvasive test that accurately identifies traces of blood apparently left on ancient African artifacts used in ceremonies involving animal sacrifices.

Archaeologists often had reported or suspected the presence of blood on many African artifacts, the study points out. However, accurately identifying the presence of blood was difficult because of the tiny amounts of blood remaining over the ages.

The researchers describe use of three highly sensitive tests -- time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, infrared microscopy, and X-ray microfluoresence -- to identify iron-bound (the chemical fingerprint of blood) on the patina from seven Dogon and Bamana sculptures from Mali. The technique, which caused virtually no damage to priceless artworks, also is suitable for identification of blood on other ancient artifacts, the study states.

The article "Identification of Ritual Blood in African Artifacts using TOF-SIMS and Synchrotron Radiation Microspectroscopies" is scheduled for the Dec. 15 issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Ancient Blood Found On Sculptures From Kingdom Of Mali." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203091232.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, December 8). Ancient Blood Found On Sculptures From Kingdom Of Mali. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203091232.htm
American Chemical Society. "Ancient Blood Found On Sculptures From Kingdom Of Mali." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203091232.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

2,000 Year Old Pre-Inca Cloak on Display in Lima

2,000 Year Old Pre-Inca Cloak on Display in Lima

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) A 2,000 year-old Pre-Inca cloak that is believed to represent an agricultural calendar of the Paracas culture is on display in Lima. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Original Mozart Sonata Manuscript Found in Budapest

Original Mozart Sonata Manuscript Found in Budapest

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Considered lost for over two centuries, the original manuscript of one of the most famous works of Mozart's Sonata in A major has been uncovered in a library in Budapest. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Underground Art Reveals WW1 Soldiers' Hopes and Fears

Underground Art Reveals WW1 Soldiers' Hopes and Fears

AFP (Sep. 25, 2014) American doctor and photographer Jeff Gusky reveals the underground quarries used by the soldiers of World War One, and the artwork they left behind which illustrates their hopes and fears. Duration: 02:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins