During the last years of research carried out on the basis of a financial support by MIUR, many samples have been encountered of different nature, colour, origin and physical state. In examining containers present in the Italian Archaeological depositories and Museums, we have found or we were adviced of interesting coloured materials and we were asked to identify them.The identification is sometimes rich of information about the ancient technology for preparing elaborated formulates, such as cosmetics, drugs, ointments, perfumes, pigments, lakes, dyes. Thereby, their analysis enables important passages of the production to be understood and some literary sourced to be interpreted. In examining some materials present on bones due to particular rituals of the first centuries after Christ in Aemilia, a particular identification of manganese based materials was encountered. The presence of manganese oxides can be related to the geology of the Aemilian territory. However, similar compounds are present in Etruscan tiles decorated with Egyptian blue and other pigments in Marzabotto. This fact supply information on the commerce of Egyptian blue far before Roman Empire times and the passage of manganese oxide treatment for painting to subsequent cicilizations.The necessity for ancient populations to paint testimonies of past religious or military chiefs lead to a search for materials coming from far centuries, such as Baltic amber, Egyptian blue, indigo… In places with an always more ancient chronology, such as Verucchio Aemilia, these materials are found in large amounts. It is not clear whether indigo was extracted from Isatis tinctoria or an Indigofera.Traces of saffron and indigotine on fictile antefissae in Cuma testifies the use of re-painting the artefacts every while, as a sign of respect for the temples. Ancient colored lipsticks contain pink ingredients, that may be purpurissum, but could be also the cheaper purpurissum puteolanum, as revealed by SERS analysis of Pompeiian samples.Residuals of precious materials are found also in small containers of the Roman ages. Smal traces of gold an a black preparation identify the knowledge of a gilding technique on alabaster, whit the black assisa applied on small spots. The ensemble of materials and their use enable an amount of knowledge to be supposed in ancient populations in order to make their life more comfortable and elegant.
Color traces and their identification in paintings, cosmetics, writings / Baraldi, Pietro; Baraldi, Cecilia; Freguglia, Giada; Gamberini, Maria Cristina; Ansaloni, Ivano. - STAMPA. - 0:(2010), pp. 53-54. (Intervento presentato al convegno PRIN07– COLORS AND BALMS IN ANTIQUITY: FROM THE CHEMICAL STUDY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF TECHNOLOGIES IN COSMETICS, PAINTING AND MEDICINE tenutosi a Aboca Azienda, Sansepolcro (Arezzo, Italy) nel 2-3 December 2010).