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The determination of the origin of natural bitumen in mummifying resins of Ancient Egyptian mummies from the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

https://doi.org/10.32362/2410-6593-2019-14-4-45-58

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Abstract

This work presents the results of a study of the resins of seven Ancient Egyptian mummies from the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts using a complex of analytical methods: gas chromatography, atomic emission and mass spectrometry. Natural bitumen and beeswax were identified in the resins using the gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method. Based on the results of hydrocarbon distribution in the profiles of n-alkanes in the resin coatings of the mummies and naturally occurring bitumen, it was assumed that the Dead Sea bitumen was used. The gas chromatography–mass spectrometry studies of mummy resins in the selected ion mode (m/z 217 and 191) provided additional evidence of the bitumen’s geographic origin. Atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma was used as a means to determine the content of microelements. Vanadium, nickel and molybdenum were found in the tar of five mummies. The determined relative amounts of vanadium, nickel, and molybdenum in the resins of the studied mummies showed a good correlation with the available data on the content of these elements in the Dead Sea bitumen, as well as the Fayum mummy resin based on this bitumen. The advantages of using the method of identifying bitumen in mummy resins based on relative content of vanadium, nickel, and molybdenum were revealed.

About the Authors

E. B. Yatsishina
National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Philosophy), Deputy Director 

Scopus Author ID 55062074900

1, Akademika Kurchatova pl., Moscow 123182, Russia



V. M. Pozhidaev
National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Chemistry), Senior Researcher, Department of Biotechnology and Bioenergy 

Scopus Author ID 7004257999

1, Akademika Kurchatova pl., Moscow 123182, Russia



O. A. Vasilyeva
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (History),Head of Department

12, Volkhonka ul., Moscow, 119019, Russia



O. P. Dyuzheva
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Art History), Senior Researcher

12, Volkhonka ul., Moscow, 119019, Russia



Ya. E. Sergeeva
National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Chemistry), Senior Researcher, Department of Biotechnology and Bioenergy

ResearсherID M-2766-2014,

Scopus Author ID: 12784841000

1, Akademika Kurchatova pl., Moscow 123182, Russia



V. M. Retivov
Institute of Chemical Reagents and High Purity Chemical Substances of National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” (NRC “Kurchatov Institute” – IREA)
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Chemistry),Chief Chemist, Head of Analytical Testing Center,Head 

SPINcode 5544-5600,

Scopus Author ID 26029517500,

ResearcherID A-6077-2014

3, Bogorodskii Val, Moscow, 107076, Russia

 



E. Yu. Tereschenko
National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”; A.V. Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography FSRC “Crystallography and Photonics”, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Cand. of Sci. (Phys.-Math.), Deputy Head, Laboratory of Natural-Scientific Methods in the Humanities;

Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of X-ray Analysis Methods and Synchrotron Radiation

1, Akademika Kurchatova pl., Moscow 123182, Russia

59, Leninskii pr., Moscow 119333, Russia

Scopus Author ID 7801407652,

ResearcherID A-8731-2014



I. S. Kulikova
National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”
Russian Federation

Engineer, Resource Center

1, Akademika Kurchatova pl., Moscow 123182, Russia



E. S. Vaschenkova
Institute of Chemical Reagents and High Purity Chemical Substances of National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” (NRC “Kurchatov Institute” – IREA)
Russian Federation

Deputy Head of the Analytical Testing Center

3, Bogorodskii Val, Moscow, 107076, Russia



E. I. Kozhukhova
Institute of Chemical Reagents and High Purity Chemical Substances of National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” (NRC “Kurchatov Institute” – IREA)
Russian Federation

Junior Researcher, Analytical Testing Center

3, Bogorodskii Val, Moscow, 107076, Russia



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107.


Supplementary files

1. Fig. 2. Chromatograms of the FAME extract of one of the mummies (A) and the beeswax (B)
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Type Исследовательские инструменты
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2. Fig. 2. Chromatograms of the FAME extract of one of the mummies (A) and the beeswax (B)
Subject
Type Исследовательские инструменты
View (231KB)    
Indexing metadata

For citation:


Yatsishina E.B., Pozhidaev V.M., Vasilyeva O.A., Dyuzheva O.P., Sergeeva Y.E., Retivov V.M., Tereschenko E.Yu., Kulikova I.S., Vaschenkova E.S., Kozhukhova E.I. The determination of the origin of natural bitumen in mummifying resins of Ancient Egyptian mummies from the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Fine Chemical Technologies. 2019;14(4):45-58. https://doi.org/10.32362/2410-6593-2019-14-4-45-58

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