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Shining light on medieval illuminations


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16:30 - 17:30


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Chemistry is helping historians and conservators track complex medieval trade routes and technology transfer.

Medieval manuscript under a microscope

By identifying the materials used in medieval illuminated manuscripts, we are able to gain insight into the techniques and skills of the scribes and illuminators. The challenge is to be able to identify materials on a delicate sheet of parchment, typically a folio of a bound manuscript that does not open readily, without contact, sampling or causing any damage.

In his talk, Professor Andrew Beeby explained how his team are using contemporary spectroscopy and imaging techniques to study the pigments used in manuscripts from as far back as the 7th century.

Shining light on medieval illuminations The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK