The interest devoted to the scientific treatment of analytical data obtained from ancient founds preserved in Italian and foreign institutions and Museums is nowadays relevant. However, till now the study of the composition and the understanding of the preparation technologies of ancient founds is scanty and fragmentary. Now, the progress of instrumental techniques enables the material composition to be cleared in details and to advance a possible re-proposition of the handiworks. On the basis of analytical data, the possibility to establish the nature of raw materials and the formulations, becomes even more concrete.In the framework of the PRIN project the unit of Modena has thrown the basis for the study of ancient cosmetic, medical and pictorial founds, in particular: 1)Identification and sampling of ancient remains in national and international Museums and of handiworks not purely cosmetic or medical.2)Spectroscopic studies (FT-IR, micro-Raman and XRF) for the characterisation of inorganic and/or organic remains recovered in unguentaries and in containers of ancient workshops.3)Identification and study of the ancient published and unpublished bibliographic sources: translation from Latin and vernacular followed by an interpretation of the function of raw materials. 4)Identification in the actual market of the materials used in antiquity.5)Preparation or acquirement of raw materials not available on the market.6)Reproduction in a modern perspective of ancient formulations on the basis of the ancient sources. The first step faced was the acquirement of ancient founds, that is the sampling on the spot of samples to be studied. Therefore, samples were taken at the Museum Aboca (Sansepolcro, Arezzo). At the Aboca Museum about 68 pots were inspected and 30 exhibited a fair amount of residue of which 9 were the object of the study.After sampling, the materials were analysed by Micro-Raman and FT-IR in order to have a first screening of them, that is to determine whether they were of organic or inorganic origin and which compounds were present. In this way we got a first idea of what the materials were. Thanks to the spectroscopic analyses and to the labels on the containers, we proceeded into the research of ancient similar formulations. Therefore, it was necessary to examine the recipe books starting from the classical age till to the beginning of scientific chemistry and pharmacology in order to critically compare the materials found, to understand their nature, their possible alteration undergone with time, the novelties in comparison with preceding versions, the technological acquirements of an age in comparison with the others. From the study of the inscriptions reported on the containers and the interpretations carried out, the period of actualisation of the formulation was hypothesised. The study of the same formulation in subsequent times has shown the evolution and the adaptation to the age.Many ancient books and manuscripts reporting recipes concerning the subject in the period between 1597 and 1872 have been considered, the most interesting of these was Farmacopea Augustana by Occo, 1597. For each source, the desired recipes were searched for and then, if necessary, translated and interpreted. In fact, some texts are in Latin or vernacular (Farmacopea Augustana by Occo), French (Abrégé de Matière médicale et de Thérapeutique by C. Binz) or Spanish (Farmacopea Hispanica), and the translation must be careful, since the meaning of the terms at the time was searched 1-7.The next step was to study the raw materials used in the recipes, that is to verify the persistence of the ingredients today and their availability in commerce. The ointments to be prepared were chosen as a function of the remains found in the containers, but mainly on the basis of the results of the spectroscopic analyses. Those reproduced in the laboratory were many, sometimes the preparations have been made in double or triple, according to the sources of different historical periods. Here is reported an example of an ancient ointment reproduced in laboratory.
COSMETIC AND PHARMACEUTICAL FORMULATIONS: FROM PAST TO PRESENT / Gamberini, Maria Cristina; Freguglia, Giada; Baraldi, Cecilia; Baraldi, Pietro. - STAMPA. - 0:(2010), pp. 13-14. (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).