Egyptian Blue Pigment

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A brief on Egyptian blue
Egyptian blue (cuprorivaite, CaCuSi4O10) was the first synthetic pigment ever produced by man; it is considered a great technology development in ancient Egypt from the 4th Dynasty (c.2613–2494 BC) till the Roman times, this pigment appeared in Egypt during the 3rd millennium BC [6]. This pigment consists of calcium copper tetrasilicate (cuprorivaite, CaCuSi4O10), a blue tabular crystal about 15 μm to 30 μm in length, residual silica (quartz and/or tridymite) and an amorphous silica-rich phase. This synthetic pigment was making by mixing calcium salt (carbonate, sulphate or hydroxide), a copper compound (oxide or malachite), sand (silica) and an alkali flux (sources of alkali could either have been natron from areas
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Delamare [13] suggested that two different physical processes could have been involved in the formation of Egyptian blue crystals depending on the amount of the alkali included in the mixture. In the first, when alkali was added at the few percent level, a liquid or glass phase was formed from which the Egyptian blue crystals nucleated and grew. In contrast, when the alkali content was insufficient to produce a significant liquid or glass phase, the Egyptian blue crystals were formed by surface diffusion between the three components, that is, by solid-state sintering. Copper ions are the coloring agent; they are very tightly bound in the stable silicate matrix and cannot be removed easily by chemical and physical means, this tight binding is the key to the high stability of Egyptian Blue…show more content…
The ancient Thebes (the present city of Luxor) is located on the western bank of the Nile River (about 650 km south of Cairo). The Egyptian temple domains of Ptolemaic and Roman times formed the center stage for the dramatic performance of various cultic ceremonies, processions, and rituals throughout the year [17]. The Ptolemaic temple of Hathor (Thebes) is located in the necropolis of Deir el Medina; a small valley was the area where a community of workmen who constructed the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings had their village. This small, graceful Ptolemaic temple, completely surrounded by a brick wall, is thought to have been originally founded by the architectural genius under Amenhotep III (c.1402–1364 BC). The compound embraces the sites of earlier temples and the remaining Ptolemaic temple itself is fronted by a staircase of Ramesses II. The temple; built in the 3rd century by Ptolemy IV and enhanced by Ptolemy VI and also by Ptolemy XI. It lies in a barren hollow and was dedicated to Hathor and Maat. It took shape under the Ptolemies, within its precincts Christian monks built a monastery the remains of which can be seen to the left and right of the temple. The temple consists of a large vestibule containing two elaborately adorned palm-columns with floral capitals and screen wall dividing it from a central hall and the back of the temple where there are three shrines

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