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The ritualistic recipe for ‘Maya blue’

Reports this week announced that researchers have ‘solved the mystery’ of how Maya Blue was made (National Geographic News, New York Times), off the back of a paper published in the journal Antiquity. The vivid pigment, which was painted on human and other sacrifices, has been a focus of interest for decades. Although the main ingredients of the pigment – indigo and clay – have long been known (see this 1966 paper in Science), archaeologists have wondered about the details of how, when and where it was made. 


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