Crystal–chemical and diffraction analyses of Maya blue suggesting a different provenance of the palygorskite found in Aztec pigments

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Sánchez del Río, Manuel and García Rivas, Javier and Súarez Barrios, Mercedes and García Romero, Emilia (2021) Crystal–chemical and diffraction analyses of Maya blue suggesting a different provenance of the palygorskite found in Aztec pigments. Archaeometry . ISSN 0003-813X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/arcm.12644



Abstract

Maya blue is a pigment found in different archaeological sites of different cultures from Mesoamerica, and also in colonial buildings in Mexico and Cuba. The pigment is made from a thermally treated mixture of indigo and palygorskite. Pigment samples from Aztec and non‐Aztec archaeological sites as well as reference Yucatecan palygorskites were studied in this paper to assess their differences. The characterization of the samples was carried out by a combination of a crystal–chemical‐point analyses using electron microscopy to obtain the structural formulae of the palygorskite crystals, and studied using high‐resolution X‐ray diffraction. The data show evidence that the palygorskite used by non‐Aztec cultures, such as the Maya, is compatible with palygorskite from known sources in the Yucatan Peninsula, while the palygorskite used by the Aztec culture is different in its structure and has an origin that is still unknown.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Maya blue, palygorskite, crystal–chemical analyses, X‐ray diffraction, analytical electron microscopy, Maya, Aztec
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Crystallography
ID Code:65403
Deposited On:10 May 2021 15:58
Last Modified:11 May 2021 12:46

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