ANCIENT INK LABORATORY
ANCIENT INK LAB
Director: James Yardley
Years Active: 2009-2014
Research Team: Alexis Hagadorn, David Ratzan (NYU), Roger Bagnall (NYU), Sarah Goler, Karen King (Harvard)
Former Researchers: Angela Cacclola, Naomi Rosenkranz, Elizabeth Stern, Isabella Buscarino
Stated Mission: The Ancient Ink Laboratory used modern concepts and techniques in Nanotechnology (as developed in Columbia University’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center) to elucidate the nature and the development of inks used in the creation of manuscripts from the ancient world, building upon the unique resources of Columbia University’s Butler Library. The laboratory was especially interested in understanding the evolution of red and black inks exhibited in Egyptian papyri dating from before 1000 BCE to 1000 CE and beyond. It was especially concerned with the use of spectroscopic signatures to determine the dates for ancient writings. In addition, it studied polychromatic manuscripts including a fragment from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.