A very important phase for reconstructing ancient technology and human activities is the analisys of artifacts. It can supply a lot of information, but sometimes the data obtained are not understandable. On the other hand an amount of written information is available since the classical antiquity. Some of the authors are considered not to be scientist and therefore their data are neither used nor interpreted. Beyond published texts some unpublished manuscripts are known that could be very interesting. Other documents include ancient translations from other languages, such as the Greek papyrii, and the Arabian documents from Spain, documents regarding trade and history of countries, icones in ancient paintings, tools used for paintings and other activities. In more recent time it is to recall, the "secreti", the books for treating diseases, where the subjects not only concern madicine, but include preparation of pigments, dyes, lakes, cosmetics, alloys inks...Their contents can be very old, some being composed much before Christ and re-written many times, and translated and sometimes erroneusly read. The transcription, understanding and interpretationof these recipes can help in understanding: the ancient paintings, decorations, alloys, textiles and cosmetics; the presence of some compounds as a consequence of past treatments and restorations; the survival of some compounds not necessary for the formulate, but added for somo forgotten reasons, such as folklore, superstition, faith, magic; the degradation of somo parts of artworks due to time and environment.These items have been followed in examining and unpublished miscellanea from the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Modena.
Auctoribus curae fuere lapides mortariorum quoque nec medicinalium tantum aut ad pigmenta pertinentium (Pliny 36, 43). Our authors are interested in stones, for making mortars, and not only in officinal mortars or those uded for colors / Baraldi, Pietro; Baraldi, Cecilia; Freguglia, Giada; Gamberini, Maria Cristina. - STAMPA. - 0:(2010), pp. 12-12. (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).