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Thursday, 16 August 2007

Mummy Was Painted Red With Spanish Lead

The mummy, named "Demetrios," turns out to have been wrapped in linen that was decorated with red pigment containing lead that originated in Spain, according to the museum.

"We now think the ancient Egyptians made very specific material choices for mummy preparation," Lisa Bruno, the museum's lead object conservator, told Discovery News.

She explained that lead is a byproduct of smelting to extract silver. It is then likely that Spain either exported raw lead at the time of Demetrios' death from around 94-100 A.D., or the lead was made into Spanish paint before making its way to Egypt.

"At the time, Egypt was in the Roman Empire, so the finding reveals how widespread trade was throughout the empire," Bruno said. "The mix of cultures probably was not unlike what exists today in Egypt."

Imported materials would have been hard to come by and therefore probably expensive, so Bruno and her team now speculate that Demetrios was a very wealthy individual. "Red shroud mummies," of which Demetrios is an example, are exceptionally rare, with only 10 known to exist in the entire world.

My comment: So much about the International Conspiracy against Black Egypt. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're lucky. It's so stupid, it disgusts me. Anyway, now we see the scale in which people traded at this epoch. I don't believe people hated each other and in the same time they had open trade routes and didn't mind using them on big distances. And it's curious why pharaohs bothered buying this paint from Spain. I guess they had quite smart reason.

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