2 December 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

Human blood proteins were found in the red paint on a 1,000-year-old gold mask from Peru

Traces of human blood have been discovered in the red paint that decorated a gold mask found on the remains of an elite man who died 1,000 years ago in the Sicán culture of Peru, a new analysis reveals.

The tomb was discovered in the 1990s, and researchers at the time determined that the red paint was cinnabar, a brick-red type of mercury, but the effective organic binder was unknown – until now.

The Sicán was a prominent culture that existed from the ninth to 14th centuries along the northern coast of modern Peru. The man, who was between 40 and 50 years old at the time of his death, lived during the Sicán that spanned from 750 A.D. to 1375 – an era known for its dazzling array of gold objects, many of which were buried in tombs of the elite class.

Researchers reporting in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research have analyzed the paint, finding that, in addition to a red pigment, it contains human blood and bird egg proteins.

A team of archaeologists and conservators led by Izumi Shimada uncovered a tomb in the early 1990s where an elite man’s sitting skeleton was painted crimson and positioned upside down in the chamber’s center. Two skeletons of young women in childbirth and midwifing stances were put close, while two crouching children’s skeletons were placed at a higher level. A red-painted gold mask, which covered the face of the man’s separated skull, was among the many gold objects discovered in the tomb.

The tomb was originally unearthed in the 1990s and archaeologists at the time concluded the red paint cinnabar, a brick-red form of mercury, but the effective organic binder remained a mystery – until now
The tomb was discovered in the 1990s, and researchers at the time determined that the red paint was cinnabar, a brick-red type of mercury, but the effective organic binder was unknown – until now.

The red pigment in the paint was identified as cinnabar at the time, but Luciana de Costa Carvalho, James McCullagh, and colleagues wondered what the Sicán people had used in the paint mix as a binding material, which had kept the paint layer attached to the metal surface of the mask for 1,000 years.

İzumi Shimada and his colleagues analyzed a small sample of red paint from the mask with the hopes of determining the organic binder.

The scientists discovered six proteins from human blood in the red paint using spectroscopy, a study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. These proteins included serum albumin and immunoglobulin G. (a type of human serum antibody). Other proteins, including ovalbumin, were derived from egg whites. Since the proteins were so highly degraded, the researchers could not identify the exact species of bird’s egg used to make the paint, but a likely candidate is the Muscovy duck.

The identification of human blood proteins supports the hypothesis that the arrangement of the skeletons was related to a desired “rebirth” of the deceased Sicán leader.

Some believe Sicáns are descended from the Moche civilization, which flourished in the area from 100 A.D. to 700 A.D. The Sicán civilization placed a high value on the burial traditions of the aristocracy, who were frequently buried with magnificent grave goods. Another facet of Sicán funeral ritual that has lately attracted notice is that of human sacrifice – and it was largely women who were slaughtered and buried in men’s graves.

Banner
Related Post

40 Skeletons in Giant Jars Found in the Corsica Necropolis

16 May 2021

16 May 2021

Archaeologists working on the French island of Corsica discovered around 40 ancient graves where persons were buried inside gigantic jars...

8,200-year-old lacquerware found in China

9 July 2021

9 July 2021

Archaeologists in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province have identified two items of lacquerware at the Jingtoushan ruins, the oldest ever found...

Neanderthal Footprints Discovered On the Beach of Matalascañas (Huelva)

4 May 2021

4 May 2021

A stroll along the beach of Matalascanas (Huelva) in June of last year unearthed a spectacular scenario that occurred in...

Sicily: Archaeologists make striking discovery in Segesta

8 June 2021

8 June 2021

Archaeological excavations in the Segesta Archaeological Park, investigating a “monumental edifice” near the portico at the end of the old...

Mass graves of Crusaders killed in the 13th century have been discovered in Lebanon

17 September 2021

17 September 2021

From 1096 to 1291, waves of Europeans took up arms and marched into the Middle East. They hope to “take...

A rare 2,500-year-old shipwreck found off the Greek island of Kythera

5 November 2021

5 November 2021

A rare shipwreck from the ancient era was discovered during the maritime survey for the Crete-Peloponnese subsea link. The Independent...

God Vishnumurthy Statue Found in a Well in Karnataka

28 February 2021

28 February 2021

A statue of the god Vishnumurthy dumped into a well was found near a destroyed Udupi temple in the state...

An unknown human group is revealed in a 7,200-year-old skeleton discovered in Indonesia

27 August 2021

27 August 2021

According to a study released this week, archaeologists uncovered the bones of a 7,200-year-old skeleton from a female hunter-gatherer in...

Viking Family identified using New DNA Technology

9 June 2021

9 June 2021

Researchers were able to confirm the connection between two Viking remains discovered in Denmark and England thanks to new DNA...

Dark secrets of Korea’s famous Wolseong palace complex are unearthed

8 September 2021

8 September 2021

The remains of an adult woman were discovered at the base of the Wolseong palace in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang province,...

Scientists recreate Stone Age cave lighting

17 June 2021

17 June 2021

For early hunter-gatherer societies that were lucky enough to live near caves, these natural underground homes provided ideal protection from...

Maya Farmers May Have Planned Population Growth Contrary to Thought

19 November 2021

19 November 2021

Contrary to what was thought, Maya farmers may have planned for population growth, says a new study. According to a...

The human remains of 29 people buried as offerings in a pre-Inca temple were found at the Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucalá excavation site

23 October 2021

23 October 2021

The human remains of 29 people buried as sacrificial offerings have been discovered in a pre-Inca temple in northern Peru....

New fortifications unearthed in Porsuk Mound excavations

11 August 2021

11 August 2021

In the excavations of Porsuk Mound, which is an important Hittite settlement and where traces of settlement remains can be...

4,000-year-old settlement found during Balasore town India

9 July 2021

9 July 2021

A 4,000-year-old settlement and ancient artifacts have been discovered in the Balasore district, India. The Odisha Institute for Maritime and...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *