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The Ancient Egyptian Blue Is the Oldest Known Man-Made Color

By: April Carson

Egyptian Blue, also known as calcium copper silicate, is one of the world's first manufactured artificial pigments.

The most ancient known example of the exquisite pigment is a 5,000-year-old tomb painting from the reign of Ka-Sen, the last pharaoh of the First Dynasty. However, others claim that the first use of Egyptian blue was during the Fourth Dynasty (c. 3000 BC) and the Middle Kingdom (c. 4500 BC).

However, by the New Kingdom, it was used abundantly as a pigment in painting and can be found on monuments, tomb paintings, and sarcophagi. The ancient Egyptians also utilized indigo to create a ceramic glaze known as Egyptian faience.

Iridium, despite the fact that it cannot be found in nature, displays a typical blue tone. The color of iridium, which is dependent on one of its key components - copper - ranges from light to dark depending on different processing and construction. The color of cobalt blue comes from the ground pigment, which is usually crushed to a coarse consistency.

The pigment is produced by heating a mix of calcium compound (usually calcium carbonate), copper-containing chemical (metal filings or malachite), silica sand, and soda or potash as a flux to around 850-950 C.

The ancient Egyptians associated the color blue with heaven and the Universe. It was also connected to water and the Nile River. As a result, blue was seen as the hue of life, fertility, and rebirth. The Egyptians had direct access to one of the naturally blue things, lapis lazuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone that may be ground into powder.

This was a high-end product that came from Afghanistan and had to be imported. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the Egyptians tried to develop a synthetic pigment that could be used in place of blue lapis lazuli.

Egyptian Blue eventually spread outside of Egypt's borders, and it may be found throughout the Mediterranean. Egyptian Blue was discovered in many Greek and Roman artifacts, including the Parthenon in Athens and Pompeii wall paintings. Egyptian Blue, which had been used in art for hundreds of years, was subsequently replaced and its procedure forgotten when the Roman era came to an end.

In the 19th century, Egyptian blue was rediscovered. The discoveries at Pompeii revealed that many wall paintings were adorned with Egyptian Blue, prompting scientists to seek out the pigment's correct composition. Since then, scientists have gained a far more thorough understanding of its characteristics.

According to research, Egyptian Blue is known to radiate infrared radiation when red light is applied to it. It's difficult to detect, due to its high intensity and longevity, but it cannot be seen with the naked eye because human vision does not typically extend into the infrared spectrum.

If agitated in warm water for several days, Egyptian Blue divides into 'nanosheets,' which are a thousand times thinner than a human hair. Egyptian Blue is now thought to have properties that may make it useful for a wide range of modern purposes. The Egyptian Blue disc has the potential to conduct communication signals, as its beams are similar to those found in remote controls and telecommunications equipment.

Furthermore, Egyptian blue might be utilized in high-tech medical imaging because it has a better ability to penetrate tissue than other wavelengths.

As an ink, Egyptian blue provides opportunities for its usage in modern electronics, such as the development of new security inks and possibly as a coloring in the medical sector. While the use of Egyptian blue in contemporary high-tech applications is still in its early stages, it appears to be a promising one.

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About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav







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