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Chemical Analysis Leads to New Discoveries in Archeology
Popular Archeology ^ | 4/11/13 | self

Posted on 04/11/2013 12:19:18 PM PDT by STD

Dear FReepers,

Wow, it's truly an amazing time to be alive. At our very fingertips we have ancient books, art and archeology. Please ping our G&G ping list for me. Enjoy your readings,


STD / DrMike

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Education; History; Science
KEYWORDS: discoveries; godsgravesglyphs; laboratory; technology
Chemical Analysis Leads to New Discoveries in Archaeological Research

Mon, Apr 08, 2013

From authenticating the controversial Gospel of Judas to confirming the nature of early human diets, scientists report the contributions of chemical analysis to archaeological discovery.

Gathered together at the 245th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in New Orleans on April 8, 2013, a body of scientists revealed the advances and discoveries that have been made in recent years using chemical and biological analysis on archaeological finds, and how they have helped elucidate the human past. Of note was a presentation by Joseph G. Barabe, a senior research microscopist at McCrone Associates, who helped verify the authenticity of the much-publicized and controversial "Gospel of Judas", the ancient 3rd century AD manuscript that related a Gnostic gospel written in Egyptian Coptic and whose content consists of conversations between the Apostle Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ.

Barabe revealed how an ancient Egyptian marriage certificate played a pivotal role in confirming the veracity of inks used in the controversial text. "If we hadn't found a Louvre study of Egyptian wedding and land contracts, which were from the same time period and had ink similar to that used to record the Gospel of Judas", he said, "we would have had a much more difficult time discerning whether the gospel was authentic".

Barabe led an analytical team of five scientists who worked on the project at McCrone, a consulting laboratory in microscopy and microanalysis in Westmont, Ill. It was part of a multidisciplinary effort organized in 2006 by the National Geographic Society to authenticate the Gospel of Judas, which was discovered in the late 1970s after having been hidden for nearly 1,700 years. Unlike other Biblical accounts that portray Judas Iscariot as a traitor, it documents that Jesus actually requested Judas to betray him to authorities.

Analysis of the ink that was used to pen the gospel was consistent with an early form of iron gall ink that would have been used to write the document; however, the ink compound did not contain any sulfur, an expected element. This perplexed Barabe.

"We didn't understand it. It just didn't fit in with anything that we had ever encountered," he said. "It was one of the most anxiety-producing projects I've ever had. I would lie awake at night trying to figure it out. I was frantically searching for answers."

Later, Barabe came across a French study at the Louvre where scientists analyzed Egyptian marriage and land records written in Coptic and Greek, dating from the first to third centuries A.D., the time when the Gospel of Judas was purportedly written. To Barabe's relief, those researchers had determined that a wedding certificate and other documents were written in ink with little or no sulfur.

"Finding that study, and realizing its implications, tilted my opinion a little in the direction of it being appropriate for the era," Barabe said. "I had a sudden feeling of peace that things were okay, and that I could submit my data without qualms."

Barabe now suggests that the ink used in the Gospel of Judas may have been a transitional compound, a "missing link" between the ancient world's carbon-based inks and the iron gall inks (made with iron sulfate) that became more popular in medieval times. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A portion of the Codex Tchacos, detailing text of the Gospel of Judas. Wikimedia Commons, {{PD-US}} _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Other presentations included: (1) Chemical evidence for the archaeological use of pulque, a pre-Columbian fermented beverage.

Despite ethnographic, visual artistic, and early historical evidence for the consumption of pulque in Mesoamerica, no direct chemical evidence for the fermented beverage pulque has been reported within these archaeological contexts. An organic residue study was conducted on ancient ceramic samples from the site of Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico. These samples, associated with an ancient Toltec site (c. 900 CE), were compared to lipid extracts from modern samples of pulque in order to establish the possibility of determining a chemical biomarker for its prehistoric consumption. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis was used to identify surviving lipid contents embedded within thirteen different sherds, as well as to analyze the components of five different modern pulque samples. A terpenoid compound was found in each of the modern pulque samples, as well as many of the ancient ceramic sherds analyzed. The correlation of this compound, combined with characteristic fatty acids, provide strong evidence for the storage of this fermented beverage within the archaeological ceramics tested. The identification of these compounds as biomarkers for pulque consumption offers a valuable tool for identifying the use and trade of this important resource throughout prehistoric Mesoamerica.

(2) Analysis of samples excavated from a royal tomb in El Zotz This project focused on the characterization of materials from burial offerings and painted decoration in a royal Maya tomb at El Zotz, Guatemala and their association to mortuary rituals. The archaeological findings tested included vessels, jade masks, organic materials (wood, cord, and textiles), specular hematite cubes, shells with powdered cinnabar, green (malachite) painted stucco assumed to have decorated the wooden bier where the king was resting, and cashes of lip-to-lip orange bowls containing human phalanges. The study used non-invasive and non-destructive analysis techniques including XRF, VPSEM-EDS, XRD, and Raman spectroscopy to identify organic and inorganic markers for inferring burial customs. The nature and location of the findings, the evidence of pigment coloration on the bones employing hematite and cinnabar, and the indication of exposure of the bones to high temperatures suggested highly complex mortuary practices of the Maya elite at El Zotz.

(3) Biogeochemical contributions to our understanding of hominin diet Biogeochemical approaches have provided insights into the diets of early hominins (possible early human ancestral species) and more recent humans. Revelations in the past few years, in particular, have fundamentally changed our understanding of the diets of several hominin taxa, and have influenced the dialogue about the selective pressures faced by our ancestors and thus the evolution of humans. Moreover, data have recently been generated for nearly the entire suite of African hominins, allowing scientists to address questions about regional and temporal differences, as well as about the relationship between diet and morphology in new ways.

1 posted on 04/11/2013 12:19:18 PM PDT by STD
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I will wait for further analysis. The wife of Jesus thing was debunked earlier. There were a lot of people named Jesus and Judas.

2 posted on 04/11/2013 12:29:19 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: mountainlion

I would agree with everything you said ML. It really ruins the article when some rabid secular ass*ole has to pee in the punch bowl. What a jerk-off

3 posted on 04/11/2013 12:41:09 PM PDT by STD (One day closer to street justice)
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To: mountainlion

I read where animal DNA identified confetti-sized pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which separated them into groups that were later assembled and translated.

Then there was a program that took pottery shards and pieced them together via scanned pieces and a computer, eliminating the tedious manual process.

Ingenious ways to use technology.

4 posted on 04/11/2013 12:44:41 PM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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I don’t know if it is some sort of modernism or manipulation to get money. The magazines need something spectacular to sell the magazines in this economy.

5 posted on 04/11/2013 1:13:30 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Oatka

It is really amazing what they are doing with computers and new technology. A lot of people see things too black and white and more quickly jump conclusions form one piece of evidence. The neanderthal sex and DNA could be a statical modeling problem but many were quick to jump human neanderthal sex because it suited their point of view. I am to the point of saying give me more sources and time and lets see what shakes out.

6 posted on 04/11/2013 1:21:07 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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Definition of PULQUE: a Mexican alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of various agaves (as Agave atrovirens)
7 posted on 04/11/2013 2:24:09 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks STD.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

8 posted on 04/11/2013 7:10:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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