Ink carbon dating

18-Jan-2018 09:08

However, different inks can still show traces of iron content depending on its method of manufacture and storage.A very early recipe for iron gall ink can be found in the Encyclopedia of Seven Free Arts by Martianus Capella, who lived in Carthage in the fifth century.This was mixed with water and gum to keep the carbon in suspension.A good quality carbon ink had a blue-black appearance.The pale brown papyrus immediately turned black upon contact with the iron salt.It was not until centuries later that this reaction was deliberately used to produce ink.Such an ink would not discolor with age but could easily smudge with high humidity and was easy to remove from a document.

ink carbon dating-1

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Although the exact date of the transition from carbon ink to iron gall ink is not known, it can safely be stated that by the end of the late Middle Ages iron gall ink was the primary ink.

It is interesting to note that an official specification for ink used in official documents of the German government was in use until 1974.

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