A blogging siesta

Hello Artful Science readers, As you’ve probably noticed, Artful Science has been on hiatus for a few months while I’ve been on a research sabbatical and then working on other projects. It will continue to be on pause until further notice but I hope to resume a new incarnation of Artful Science’s cultural heritage coverage sometime in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, I often tweet about research on art and artifacts, should...

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A brief hiatus: Onwards to Uzbekistan

My apologies for a few weeks hiatus over here at Artful Science. Last summer I got married and we are finally off on our honeymoon to Uzbekistan (aka the honeystan) where we will explore some awesome Silk Road architecture. Given that we’ll be looking at a lot of mosaics, I thought I’d point you to this post on the conservation of tile art and the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry. See you at the end of...

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Gold gilding, ancient amber and a mysterious hidden sculpture: A new cultural heritage journal launches!

There’s beautiful gold gilding at Reales Alcazares royal palace in Seville, Spain. Yet it turns out that the pretty gold gilding you see in the image on the left is not precisely original. The World Heritage Site was originally built in 914 AD, and then expanded from the 14th to the 16th century. Recently, Spanish researchers found a layer of paint lying below the gold gilding that contains lead chromate, a pigment that wasn’t used...

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Daisies, frankincense, mint, and mercury help preserve Richard the Lionheart’s heart

This is a guest blog post from Stu Borman, a C&EN senior correspondent for science, technology & education. A French-based research team recently had a rare opportunity to get to the heart—quite literally—of some 12th century European history. Using a battery of scientific equipment, they took a closer look at how the heart of English king Richard I was preserved for posterity. Also known as Richard the Lionheart because of...

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Ancient Roman cosmetics: Skin cream from the 2nd century A.D.

Last week, while working on an article about the chemical make-up of 2000-year-old medicine tablets from a Roman shipwreck, I read that back in 2003 archeologists had unearthed a full canister of cosmetic skin cream, hidden in a Roman temple drain in Southwark, London. When a Museum of London curator opened up the 2nd century A.D. canister, she found it full of white ointment, awesomely reminiscent of modern-day Nivea cream. This rare...

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Star Trek Replicators, Dystopian Futures, And The #foodchem Carnival

Over here at C&ENtral Science, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with a food chemistry blogging carnival. Artful Science will return to regularly scheduled programming after we manage to digest all the turkey… “Tea. Earl grey. Hot.” I never gave much thought to Jean-Luc Picard’s quintessential beverage request from the Star Trek The Next Generation replicator machine until last week. I was talking with some friends about...

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