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4,000-year-old dye found on Egyptian artifact

The earlier known example of madder, a red dye, has been found on an ancient Egyptian quiver.

he find is some 700 years earlier than any previously known use of madder, which became highly popular in the Middle Ages and provides many of the red shades and glazes in the work of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

“Tracing the use of organic colorants offers a way to follow trade routes, identify relations among archaeological objects, detect forgeries and attribute works of art,” Leona wrote.

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