The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe

Written by: Tristan Craig. A 2014 analysis of the remains of a woman, exhumed from the burial site adjacent to a former medieval monastery in Dalheim, Germany, found brilliant blue particles embedded in her dental calculus. Raman spectroscopic analysis revealed these pigments to be lapis lazuli: an immensely valuable commodity in the Middle Ages and used only by the most skilled artists in works of the highest order. What made this discovery all the more spectacular is that she dates from around the eleventh to early twelfth century where examples of the expensive mineral, mined only in one region of Afghanistan, are exceptionally rare. Continue reading The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe