The Woman with Blue Flecks in Her Teeth

I love stories like this recent article (Medieval woman artist unmasked by her teeth) that use science to reveal something about a time that we ourselves have never experienced. While examining a medieval skeleton, researchers discovered thousands of blue particles in the woman’s teeth. Chemists found that the particles were blue lapis.

There are a couple of ideas about how they got there. One is that she was a scribe or was at least involved in creating art or manuscripts. Another is that she was involved in a ritual where she ingested precious lapis stones or maybe the robin’s-egg blue flecks were from her cleaning a paint brush by licking it.

There are so many possibilities here. Who was this woman? Why was she using lapis? Was she a sought-after scribe or a lowly newbie earning her place? Did she believe in the power of the precious stone and regularly eat it?

Who wants to talk more about how you can use this in your current or next story?

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