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Re: orion Red, green, blue inks

David Crowder wrote:

> On April 28, '98, Jim West wrote:
> >These appear to be fragments that have suffered oxidization.  There is NO
> >way to determine if the scribe used different ink colors.  Thus, such a
> >hypothesis (as presented by Altman via Crowder), in indemonstrable.
>   With due respect, isn't that a bit hasty.  You are saying that amid the
> entire corpus of scrolls written in black ink, we have three examples of
> oxidation resulting in these colors.  What sort of phenomenon might account
> for such a rare and unique reaction?

    It is not unusual for ancient inks to change color over time, dependingon
the specific recipe.  Inks were made in a number of ways using either
lamp black and gum or animal gelatin; nut galls (Ferrous oxide) or any
number of plant or mineral ingredients dear to the particular scribe.
Vitreolic acid inks were friendly to papyrus while corrosive to vellum
over time.  There were even some halakhic rules about which type of
inks to use.  Ingredients could vary from pomegranite peel to urine for
preventing precipitation.  It is very common to find ancient texts where
the script had literally eaten through the vellum.  Oxidation is quite
common where acidic inks were used.  If oxidation is rare among the
DSS and Hebraic writing, it is not so rare among other writings...this
I would attribute to halakhic-type rules over which inks could be used
for "sacred" writings.