Archaeological cosmetics, as well as revealing ancient knowledge, contain a complex mixture of very different organic and inorganic components with diverse properties. Most information on the preparation of ancient cosmetics comes from classical texts. However, although analysis of products contained in archaeological objects has recently identified some ingredients, there is still little known about how the cosmetics were prepared. Using a multi-analytical approach, we studied the chemical composition of two Roman pink make-ups that were preserved on the surface of a Roman bronze cosmetic tool and in a glass unguentarium. The results revealed that both make-ups were colored by madder lake but prepared in two different ways and with two completely different matrices (i.e. scented oils in the first case and gypsum in the second) highlighting that the make-ups had been prepared thoroughly, the ingredients carefully selected and their properties and possibilities for good cosmetic use had been understood.

Colorants and oils in Roman make-ups – an eye witness account

RIBECHINI, ERIKA;DEGANO, ILARIA;COLOMBINI, MARIA PERLA;
2009

Abstract

Archaeological cosmetics, as well as revealing ancient knowledge, contain a complex mixture of very different organic and inorganic components with diverse properties. Most information on the preparation of ancient cosmetics comes from classical texts. However, although analysis of products contained in archaeological objects has recently identified some ingredients, there is still little known about how the cosmetics were prepared. Using a multi-analytical approach, we studied the chemical composition of two Roman pink make-ups that were preserved on the surface of a Roman bronze cosmetic tool and in a glass unguentarium. The results revealed that both make-ups were colored by madder lake but prepared in two different ways and with two completely different matrices (i.e. scented oils in the first case and gypsum in the second) highlighting that the make-ups had been prepared thoroughly, the ingredients carefully selected and their properties and possibilities for good cosmetic use had been understood.
JOSEFINA PÉREZ, Arantegui; Gemma, Cepriá; Ribechini, Erika; Degano, Ilaria; Colombini, MARIA PERLA; JUAN PAZ, Peralta; ESPERANZA ORTIZ, Palomar
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/203660
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