Caren Sullivan–May 8th, 2016

This past week I took X-Ray Fluorescence data throughout the manuscript, particularly looking at the iron levels of both the blank spots of parchment, as well as spots of parchment with ink. I collected data on at least three pages in each quire both in the Calendar section and the Hours of the Virgin. The iron levels in the blank parchment were about 150-300 ppm while the iron levels in the black ink were, on average, greater than 1000 ppm. This confirms that iron is a main component both in the Calendar ink and the Hours of the Virgin ink. Furthermore, I noticed extremely high levels of copper in the ink in the Hours of the Virgin. On average, the copper levels were about 3x that of the iron levels. This suggests that perhaps copper sulfate was used in addition to iron sulfate when synthesizing the ink. Another possibility is that copper just happened to be in the iron ore that was mined at the time. With the XRF data, I plan to analyze the iron and copper levels in both sections. Furthermore, I plan to utilize the actual XRF spectra in order to determine relative ratios of Fe 2+ and Fe 3+ present. Hopefully, we will see a difference in the +2:+3 ratio between the Calendar and H.o.V., which will suggest that the ink was made differently, most likely by different people (and thus different scribes).


This upcoming week I plan to take shifted Raman spectra of the manuscript and my samples. I will also take XRF of my samples such that we have a baseline of iron levels within my parchment and my synthesized ink.


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