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Home > News > Maya Blue and the Secret of Longevity

July 16th, 2010

Maya Blue and the Secret of Longevity

Abstract:
The Maya civilisation flourished in central America from 2500 BC until the arrival of the Spanish in the 17th century. During that time it developed a complex written language as well as impressive architecture and art.

One of the features of this art is a vivid colour called Maya Blue which amazingly survives until today. Maya Blue has long puzzled archaeologists because of its remarkable longevity. How does it survive when other pigments fade away?

Today, Catherine Dejoie at the Néel Institute in Grenoble et amis provide an answer. They use x-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis (which uses changes in weight to determine how the breakdown in materials occur) to determine the structure of the material. This in turn has revealed the secret of its longevity.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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