What was she doing in the tunnel?
The answer: seeking an uncontaminated sample of a mineral that might have been the key ingredient in the blue used to decorate "blue painted pottery" popular among the Egyptian elite during the New Kingdom (1550-1079 BC).
Colleague Colin A. Hope, PhD, an expert in blue painted pottery, had asked if she wouldn’t help him pin down the source of the blue pigment by sampling and analyzing material from the mine.
Hope and Smith, together with Paul Kucera, a doctoral student at Monash University in Australia who first identified the mines, describe the pottery, the mines and the mineral in a chapter of Beyond the Horizon, a festschrift for the Egyptologist Barry A. Kemp
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Originally published March 17, 2010 | Washington University in St. Louis | by Diana Lutz | An excerpt: