Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

2015 Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen W. Thompson

Ancient Inks: A Forensic Art Historical Perspective

  • Howell G. M. Edwards
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6304-3_210

Definition

Ink: A colored, usually liquid, material used for writing which is applied with a brush, stylus or pen to a variety of surfaces such as paper, papyrus, parchment, vellum or fabrics.

Inks have been used to record events and data in documentation and for the decorative arts since 2700 BCE; a description of the different types of ink used historically for nearly 5,000 years will be followed by a survey of analytical information available based on their chemical composition which can provide a chronological assessment. In conclusion, analytical case studies are presented briefly of two important historical manuscripts, namely, the Vinland Map, which purportedly was drawn in the early fifteenth century and shows the northeastern coast of North America some 60 years before the voyage of Columbus, and the Voynich Manuscript, a mysterious historiated fifteenth-century herbal which has thus far defied translation and which has been termed the most enigmatic ancient manuscript in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical and Forensic Sciences, School of Life SciencesUniversity of BradfordBradfordUK