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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ancient Tarim Basin burials reveal cosmetics made from cattle hearts

Open access at Nature Scientific Reports:

Cosmetics have been studied for a long time in the society and culture research, and its consumption is regarded as a cultural symbol of human society. This paper focuses on the analysis of the red cosmetic sticks, found in Xiaohe Cemetery (1980–1450BC), Xinjiang, China. The structure of the red cosmetic sticks was disclosed by SR-╬╝CT scanning (Synchrotron Radiation Micro-computed Tomography), while the chemical components were characterized by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), Raman Spectroscopy and Proteomics. The results suggested that the cosmetic sticks were made from the cattle heart and covered with a layer of hematite powders as the pigment. Given the numerous red painted relics in Xiaohe Cemetery, this kind of cosmetic sticks might be used as a primitive form of crayon for makeup and painting. The usage of cattle hearts as cosmetic sticks is firstly reported up to our knowledge, which not only reveals the varied utilizations of cattle in Xiaohe Cemetery but also shows the distinctive religious function. Furthermore, these red cosmetic sticks were usually buried with women, implying that the woman may be the painter and play a special role in religious activities.

Mai et al., Characterization of cosmetic sticks at Xiaohe Cemetery in early Bronze Age Xinjiang, China, Nature Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 18939 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep18939

See also...

Lots of ancient Y-DNA from China

Another look at ancient mtDNA from Xiaohe, Tarim Basin

1 comment:

Nirjhar007 said...

Intriguing. I think its vital to know what M-417 they had.