It turns out that human blood was painted on the 'golden mask' 1000 years ago

In the early 1990s, a tomb about 1000 years ago was excavated in Peru, South America, and a skull with a golden mask was found inside. This golden mask was painted red and the raw material remained unknown for a long time, but the latest analysis revealed that the raw material contained human blood.

Human Blood and Bird Egg Proteins Identified in Red Paint Covering a 1000-Year-Old Gold Mask from Peru | Journal of Proteome Research

Red paint on 1,000-year-old gold mask from Peru contains human blood proteins --ScienceDaily

It is said that the Sican culture flourished along the northern coast of Peru from 750 to 1350 before the Inca Empire. In the early 1990s, archaeologist Izumi Shimada and other research teams unearthed a tomb of a man who is believed to have a high social status. The human bone in the center of the tomb was painted with red paint and was buried upside down. At this time, the man's skull was separated from his body and wore a golden mask painted in red. Also, near the bones of a man, the bones of two young women in the poses of a pregnant woman and a midwife and the bones of two children were placed.

The golden mask found below.

At that time, it was known that the paint used for the mask was cinnabar , but it remained unknown for a long time what the organisms contained in the paint were. However, archaeologists Luciana de Costa Carvalho and James McCullagh conducted a new analysis to reveal the identity of the organism, as the paint settled on the mask and remained in color for over 1000 years. I tried.

When researchers analyzed a small amount of paint with a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, it was first found that the paint contained proteins. Later, when proteome analysis was performed using tandem mass spectrometry, researchers identified six proteins in human blood, including serum, albumin, and immunoglobulin G. It has also been revealed that the paint also contained a protein derived from egg white. Researchers speculate that it is probably a muscovy duck , although it was not possible to identify which bird's egg it was due to severe protein deterioration.

Cinnabar-based paints have been confirmed to be used by people with high social status and for important ceremonial items. From this, it is believed that cinnabar represented vitality at the time, and the fact that human blood was used as a paint fits this context, the researchers wrote.

in Science, Posted by darkhorse_log