Ancient Egyptian scribes mixed copper in their ink

by Dave Sadler

New X-ray images have revealed copper in the ink scrawled on 2,000-year-old Egyptian papyri fragments.

Until now, archaeologists thought Egyptian scribes used ink composed entirely of carbon-based ingredients until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. The latest findings — detailed in the journal Scientific Reports — suggest scribes began mixing copper into their carbon-based inks much earlier than previously thought.

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