Chemistry

Evidence of prehistoric glue used 20,000-years-ago during the Palaeolithic period

Researchers from UNED and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) have found evidence of adhesives being used to fasten lithic hunting heads to arrow shafts approximately 20,000-years-ago.

Direct evidence of ancient Bronze Age drug use found in Menorca

Human consumption of mind-altering substances can be traced in the archaeological record back to prehistoric times; however, this is based on indirect evidence such as the typology and function of certain artefacts related to their preparation or consumption.

Shipwrecks reveal origins of metal used to cast the Benin Bronzes

The Benin Bronzes consist of thousands of metal sculptures and plaques which adorned the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, presently located in Edo State, Nigeria.

500-year-old medicine container has been revealed to contain herbal mixtures

A study of a cattle-horn used a medicine container, has been revealed to contain herbal mixtures used by the Khoi or San people 500 years ago.

Secrets of Ancient Egyptian mummification materials revealed

A new study, published in the journal Nature, has revealed the types of materials used in Ancient Egyptian mummification.

Italy’s oldest olive oil discovered in peculiar pot

 Olive oil is a staple of Italian cuisine. It's been that way for thousands of years. And new chemical analysis conducted on ancient pottery proves the liquid gold has existed in Italy hundreds of years longer than what anthropologists have previously recorded.

Earliest European evidence of lead pollution uncovered in the Balkans

New research from Northumbria University has revealed that metal-related pollution began in the Balkans more than 500 years before it appeared in western Europe, and persisted throughout the Dark Ages and Medieval Period, meaning the region played a far bigger role in mineral exploitation than previously believed.

Geologists assist in solving the mystery of a gold treasure

The Carambolo Treasure is an assemblage of gold items of the first millennium BCE, whose origin has for about 50 years been the epicentre of a heated debate.

Experiment sheds new light on prehistoric ocean conditions

A new experiment by Iowa State University's Elizabeth Swanner that evaluates the reduction of iron in prehistoric oceans may reinterpret the conditions under which iron-rich sedimentary rock is formed.

Prehistoric bling? Aesthetics crucial factor in development of earliest copper alloys

Research into ancient gold metallurgy has been supported by various studies, however, colour properties of prehistoric copper alloys such as arsenical copper and tin have remained largely understood.

Poisonings went hand in hand with the drinking water in Pompeii

The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced water supply. But the drinking water in the pipelines was probably poisoned on a scale that may have led to daily problems with vomiting, diarrhoea, and liver and kidney damage. This is the finding of analyses of water pipe from Pompeii.

Venetian physician had a key role in shaping early modern chemistry

Newly discovered notes show for the first time the Venetian doctor who invented the thermometer and helped lay the foundations for modern medical treatment also played a key role in shaping our understanding of chemistry.

Nanotechnology enables new insights into chemical reactions

Eighty percent of all products of the chemical industry are manufactured with catalytic processes. Catalysis is also indispensable in energy conversion and treatment of exhaust gases.

Scientists use mass spectrometry to ‘look inside’ an ancient Greek amphora

Russian scientists have identified the components of the oldest bitumen sample to be found in an ancient vase and made an accurate estimate of its age.

The art — and science — behind treasured Japanese porcelain

Porcelain connoisseurs have prized the traditional Japanese-style ceramics called akae, typically known for Kakiemon-style ware, for centuries.

Missing links brewed in primordial puddles?

The crucibles that bore out early building blocks of life may have been, in many cases, modest puddles.

Unexpected discovery leads to a better battery

An unexpected discovery has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid.

Metallic ink revealed in Herculaneum papyri

An international team of scientists has discovered the presence of metal in the ink of two Herculaneum papyrus fragments proving that metals were used in ink several centuries earlier than previously believed.

Recreating alchemical recipes shows the genius of ancient scientists

From dragon's blood to slippery elm root, coded and obscure ingredients of ancient recipes are getting a second look today not by Harry Potter fans, but by historians who want to experience science as it was practiced centuries ago.

Chemical analysis reveals first cheese making in Northern Europe in the 6th millennium BC

The first unequivocal evidence that humans in prehistoric Northern Europe made cheese more than 7,000 years ago is described in research by an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, UK, published today in Nature.

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