The highly magnified views of the artifacts show their unusual hidden beauty and reveal interesting clues about how they were made and used for a long time.
For example, Persian textiles from the seventeenth century contained fibers of silk threads that were individually wrapped with thin strips of metal. The microstructure of a needle from Cyprus retains the touch of the person who formed it, in traces of the dark wear that appeared during the needle’s spin and poking.
These enlarged archaeological photos and others are displayed in a new gallery called “Invisible Beauty: The Art of ArcheologyWhich opens at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia on January 16th.
In another striking image, a little basalt shines in the ceramic ceiling tiles from Gordion, a site in Turkey that had been inhabited since at least 2300 BC, during the early Bronze Age (the tiles date back to the first half of the 6th century BC). Basalt, a volcanic rock, looks dull and black to the naked eye. But when viewed in polarized light under a microscope, it shines brightly.
Additions such as basalt to roof tiles can tell archaeologists whether the tiles are locally made or imported, and this information can help them assemble historical trade routes and exchange networks, said Marie-Claude Boilleau, the exhibition’s co-curator and curator. Penn Museum Center for Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAMM).
Live Science told that the image is amazing not only because of the colorful crystals but also because of the story it tells.
“We’re also trying to discover the technology of those who made these tiles – how they mixed the clay and how they added any kind of additives, including the basalt pieces,” she said. All filming on the exhibit was done at CAMM, and most were conducted by undergraduate and graduate students.
Ago The invention of the microscope In the 16th century, scientists used magnification and light to look at living things and structures that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Today, modern high-powered microscopes offer a glimpse into worlds that centuries ago researchers could only dream of seeing, such as Water flea gives birthAnd the The vessels surrounding the brain From small and even zebrafish Snapshots of individual live cells Three-dimensional.
Discoveries Ancient mummiesAnd the Long lost citiesTools, jewelry, and other items help experts bring humanity’s past together, and imaging technologies allow scientists to conduct noninvasive investigations that do not harm sensitive materials. With microscopy X ray, Magnetic radiation measurement, and Infrared And the Ultraviolet lightScientists can access hidden clues about ancient societies.
“People were really used to seeing archaeologists in the field excavating; we really wanted to show how much analysis we could do,” Boileau said. “Even from the smallest artifact or specimen, we get a lot of information about the past.”
Originally published on Live Science.