Absolute dating of lead carbonates in ancient cosmetics by radiocarbon

  title={Absolute dating of lead carbonates in ancient cosmetics by radiocarbon},
  author={Lucile Beck and Ingrid Caffy and Emmanuelle Delqu{\'e}-Koli{\vc} and Christophe Moreau and Jean-Pascal Dumoulin and Marion Perron and H{\'e}l{\`e}ne Guichard and Violaine Jeammet},
  journal={Communications Chemistry},
Lead carbonate is one of the major compounds of art and archeology used as an ingredient in paint and cosmetics since Antiquity. Accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating is usually applied to organic remains. Here we extend radiocarbon dating to lead carbonate, an inorganic material. We demonstrate that lead carbonates can be dated. We also show that natural and manufactured make-up powders can be discriminated by radiocarbon. We find that cerussite used for cosmetics was a natural… 
Thermal Decomposition of Lead White for Radiocarbon Dating of Paintings
ABSTRACT Lead carbonates were used as cosmetic and pigment since Antiquity. The pigment, known as lead white, was generally composed of cerussite and hydrocerussite. Unlike most ancient pigments,
The Ins and Outs of 14C Dating Lead White Paint for Artworks Application.
The collected carbon dioxide at 350 °C results can be assigned correctly to the decomposition of the lead white pigment, and the proposed thermal approach was verified on mixed carbonate-bearing paint samples collected from a Baroque oil painting.
Unexpected presence of 14C in inorganic pigment for an absolute dating of paintings
This work presents a novel technique permitting paintings that contain inorganic pigment to be radiocarbon dated and reports an unprecedented use of 14C to date 14th to 16th century wall paintings.
Radiocarbon dating of lead white: novel application in the study of polychrome sculpture
The potential of radiocarbon dating as a complementary source of information about these complex paint systems guiding their interpretation is demonstrated and the challenges of this innovative approach are highlighted and improvements on sampling and sample preparation are discussed.
Dual isotope system analysis of lead white in artworks.
This feasibility study conducted on paintings of known age demonstrates the possibility to maximize the information output from lead white paint, thus increasing the benefits of a single sampling.
Experimental Reproduction of Cosmetic Powders Excavated from the Tomb of Princess Hwahyup
In this study, we tried to reproduce some of the cosmetics from the Joseon period based on the previous analysis of the cosmetics excavated from the tomb of Princess Hwahyup. The two cosmetic
Not only wall paintings—pigments for cosmetics
Always very enlightening, the knowledge of the composition and production of ancient cosmetics has attracted the interest of diverse characterisation studies on archaeological residues in the last
Release of lead from Renaissance lead-glazed ceramics from southern Denmark and northern Germany: implications from acetic acid etching experiments
Lead-glazed potsherds from archaeological excavations at six Renaissance (1536–1660 CE) sites in southern Denmark and northern Germany have been subjected to etching experiments using 4 wt% acetic


Finding out egyptian gods' secret using analytical chemistry: biomedical properties of egyptian black makeup revealed by amperometry at single cells.
Using ultramicroelectrodes, new insights are obtained into the biochemical interactions between lead(II) ions and cells, which support the ancient medical use of sparingly soluble lead compounds.
Investigation of white pigments used as make-up during the Greco-Roman period
Different white pigments were used during antiquity to prepare white make-up for women faces. Combining observations and elemental analysis with structural information, we were able to determine the
Making make-up in Ancient Egypt
The extensive use of green, white and black make-up has been known since the earliest periods of Egyptian history,. We have investigated cosmetic powders dating from between 2000 and 1200 BC that
Cosmetics, Perfumes and Incense in Ancient Egypt
The two commonest eye-paints were malachite (a green ore of copper) and galena (a dark grey ore of lead), the former being the earlier of the two, but being ultimately largely replaced by the latter,
Revealing the Origin and History of Lead-White Pigments by Their Photoluminescence Properties.
Investigation of photoluminescence of the two constitutive mineral phases gave insight into the origin of the visible emission of these materials and emphasized the influence of structural defects on their photol Luminescence properties.
New lead isotopic analyses are presented for lead antimonate coloured glass and faience from Amarna in Middle Egypt and dated to around 1350 BC. When compared to existing data, these suggest that
Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Dynastic Egypt
This work used 211 radiocarbon measurements made on samples from short-lived plants, together with a Bayesian model incorporating historical information on reign lengths, to produce a chronology for dynastic Egypt, which indicates that the New Kingdom started between 1570 and 1544 B.C.E. and the reign of Djoser in the Old Kingdomstarted between 2691 and 2625 B.E.; both cases are earlier than some previous historical estimates.