The Ancient Yeast Project

Serena Love (Everick Foundation, Australia)

It started with a simple tweet. On April 15, 2019, avid Twitter user Seamus Blackley tweeted:

I’ve been working on a yeast… sample that I got from (redacted source). It’s from a scraping of ancient Egyptian bread pots. Yes, yeast can hibernate that long. Yes, I’m going to bake bread today using it, using [b]arley and [e]mmer, which the ancient Egyptians had.

This tweet caught my attention. I had so many questions. How did he know he had ancient yeast and not museum dust? What extraction methods were used? Where did the pots come from and from what time period? Were they from a tomb or settlement site? Where and when was the yeast sample excavated? I bombarded Seamus with a series of messages. I asked him about how and where he got the yeast. This was at approximately the same time that a team from Bar-Ilan University in Israel announced that they had successfully brewed beer with yeast extracted from ancient ceramics (Aouizerat et al. 2019). Their findings were met with much fanfare. Though Seamus declined to reveal his source, I sufficiently annoyed him with my questions that he decided that we should partner and do the research properly. And that is how The Ancient Yeast Project began.

Our research strategy was aimed to identify temporal and regional variations in yeast strains throughout Pharaonic Egypt. And to identify if genetic drift occurred during the 3000 years of ancient Egyptian civilization, across a distance of over 500-800 km between Lower and Upper Egypt. As bread and beer were produced in the same facilities with similar ingredients, one would expect similar yeasts to appear in both products. We hypothesized that there would be a divergence between the yeast varieties which were used for baking bread as opposed to those used for brewing beer. However, as baking and brewing evolved into specialised crafts through time, we also placed a primary focus on identifying genetic drift between the yeast strains.

The most obvious place to collect ancient Egyptian yeast would have been in Egypt. However, with strict prohibitions on exporting samples collected from archaeological sites, I began with museum collections instead. This approach was primarily intended to determine whether the methodology for yeast extraction would be successful. If the methods worked as predicted, then it would be possible to approach excavations in Egypt and seek formal permissions. My job was to locate and secure access to an assemblage of bread moulds and beer vessels suitable for sampling. I was granted access to three collections, including those at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard University, and the Phoebe Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley. We also secured permissions from museums in Turin and Yale, but COVID got in the way and this project was put on hold.

Blackley’s initial tweet also caught the attention of Richard Bowman, a PhD candidate in microbiology at the Smolikove Laboratory at the University of Iowa. Bowman also challenged Blackley about the authenticity of his yeast and questioned the extraction methods. Blackley, being sufficiently annoyed by both of us, decided it would be good to team up with his critics and conduct some proper science. Bowman’s task was to create a non-destructive extraction method that would bypass any surface contaminates and penetrate the matrix of a ceramic vessel. The sampling strategy was simple: we utilized a liquid media made with yeast extract, peptone and dextrose (YPD) with added amino acids. The surface of the vessel was injected twice. A sterile cotton pad was placed against a relatively clean portion of the vessel in an area likely to have been in contact with fermentation microbes. Using a sterile syringe, media was introduced through the cotton until the ceramic matrix became saturated. After 3 minutes, the syringe was used to “vacuum” as much media as possible back through the cotton pad. The media and the pad were then retained in sterile containers and labelled. This process was then repeated with a new sterile syringe and pad, and the cotton and recovered media were again retained in sterile containers and labelled. This method aimed to bypass surface contaminants, which made us slightly more confident that we were not collecting museum dust and actually reviving something that was embedded within the ceramic matrix—hopefully something from antiquity. All thee museums reported no visible contamination or damage from the sampling operation.

From the MFA, two samples were successfully cultivated, one from a Middle Kingdom loaf of bread (MFA 37.549; see Figure 11) and another from an Old Kingdom beer jug with mud lining (MFA 37.2760.3). The samples were sent to Bowman’s lab at the University of Iowa, where he separated the bacteria and was able to successfully isolate the yeast strains.

Figure 11. MFA 37.549, Middle Kingdom bread from Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Image courtesy of Seamus Blackley.

However, unbeknownst to Bowman or I, Blackley had squirrelled away one of the MFA samples, turned it into a sourdough starter, and baked with it. On 5 August 2019, Blackley again tweeted that he had baked a loaf of emmer bread, using 4500-year-old yeast from ancient Egyptian pottery. This time his tweet caught the attention of the international press. Overnight, our ancient yeast project went viral. But, as they can be prone to do, the media jumped ahead of the science and came to unverified and unscientific conclusions. In spite of my protests, multiple articles appeared that were riddled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies, converting supposition to fact. For example, Prof. Dorian Fuller was interviewed in an article published in The Guardian in August 2019, in which he rightfully criticised the project for not knowing whether the yeast strains were actually ancient. This is an appropriate critique. The only thing that we do know conclusively is that Blackley collected and revived a viable yeast sample and that he then successfully baked a loaf of bread with it. Let me be very clear: we do not have confirmation that the yeast is an ancient variety; DNA samples are still pending.

However, circumstantial evidence hints that the yeast may perhaps be ancient. The first of these indications is that the sourdough starter reacted best to emmer flour. The starter was fed several different types of flour (including white, whole wheat, spelt and barley). But, it reacted most vigorously with emmer. While this is certainly not conclusive evidence, it is tantalising, given that the ancient Egyptians were known to have used emmer flour to bake bread.

The second circumstantial evidence suggests that there is a difference between the yeasts collected from the Old Kingdom beer jug and the Middle Kingdom bread loaf. Bowman brewed a batch of beer and then split the wort into two fermenting vessels, adding yeasts from each of the different samples. It is well known that yeast contribute to beer’s flavour profile; the results of this experimental brew produced two distinctly-flavoured beers. Again, although this result is not verifiable confirmation of ancient yeast, it does suggest that there is a difference between the two yeast samples.

The most interesting results from this project have been the result of the baking experiments. Our approach followed previous research into ancient Egyptian baking practices (e.g. Bats 2020; Borojevic and Childs 2018; Perlingieri 2007; Samuel 1989, 1994). Our understanding of Old Kingdom baking is largely derived from the artistic record and a few excavated bakeries at Giza and Elephantine. Many current assumptions about Old Kingdom baking are derived from the artistic representation of a bakery in the Fifth Dynasty Tomb of Ty at Saqqara. In the scene depicted there, pots were stacked and heated in an open fire. One heated pot was placed in a divot in the floor, the dough poured into the bottom pot, and a second heated pot was placed on top of the first to create a dome-structure. This was then surrounded by charcoal. Scholars assumed that the heat from the pots baked the bread. However, the results from our baking project demonstrated that this may not have been the case. In fact, our results suggest that these art scenes may have been misinterpreted.

Using Wodzińska’s (2010) work from Giza as a guide, we worked with a local potter to recreate vessels based on the ancient design. Next, we used these large, heavily tempered bedja pots to bake bread in the ground. One common concern of bread baking is ensuring that the dough does not stick to the inside of the pot. We seasoned the bedja pot copies with a variety of comparable fats (i.e. beef, duck, goose, pork, sheep and flaxseed oil). We found each to be effective in keeping the bread from sticking to the pots. See Figure 12. It may be that the scene of the stacked pots in Ty’s tomb was not a representation of pre-heating, but rather of the seasoning of the pots.

Although one might argue that Old Kingdom bread moulds do not have evidence of the black residue that results from seasoning with animal fats, our experiments suggested that the pots had to be continually seasoned. The layer of fat would only hold for about 3-4 bakes before it needed to be reapplied. In addition, as these animal fats are volatile compounds, they may have likely disappeared if buried for long periods of time. Oil polymer oxidises and comes off, which could potentially explain why this coating is absent from the archaeological ceramics.

Our experiments baking with the bedja pots were also successful. The bread was evenly cooked on all sides and through the core of the bread loaf. We estimate that there is an even distribution of heat throughout the baking process and the coals were able to maintain a constant temperature of 280ᵒ C. See Figure 13. Heat was provided and maintained by the use of coals. Blackley had made acacia charcoal especially for this experiment. Multiple attempts produced identical results, without burning. A successful loaf was baked for 45 minutes on the coals and then allowed to rest for a further 10 minutes with the lid still on. Once the bread was extracted, a new batch of dough was poured into the warmed pot, which would proof in 2.5 hours and be ready for baking. At this turnover rate, it would have been easy for a single bedja pot to be used 4-5 times daily.

Figure 12. Baking with seasoned pots. Image courtesy of Seamus Blackley.

Figure13. Simulated image of heat distribution while baking. Image courtesy of Seamus Blackley.

Our findings thus far have been tantalizing, but there is much more work to be done. Although The Ancient Yeast Project has been delayed by the global pandemic, work has slowly returned once again. At present, our top priority is to complete the genomic sequencing of the yeast strains. To this end, we are collaborating with Dr. Peter Girguis, an Egyptian professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and head of the Girguis Laboratory at Harvard University. We continue to collect samples, pending permissions and the opening of international travel. In addition, we have persevered with the experimental baking with the Old Kingdom bedja pot replica. It is also important to say that the yeast does not belong to The Ancient Yeast Project. If we can confirm that the yeast is indeed ancient, it will be returned to Egypt. Although there appears to be tremendous interest in this project and it may have lucrative prospects, no commercial profits will be made from this yeast without permission and/or collaboration with Egyptian authorities and stakeholders, who are the true owners and the direct beneficiaries of this yeast strain.

The Ancient Yeast Project has been an absolute whirlwind. It started with a simple tweet and has found a global appeal. It is extremely rewarding to see an archaeological project gain so much public interest. One Twitter user even coined a new term: gastroegyptology. This research has so much potential for both science and for humanity if the yeast does prove to be ancient. We certainly hope that it is! Stay tuned!


  • Aouizerat, T. et al. 2019, ‘Isolation and Characterization of Live Yeast Cells from Ancient Vessels as a Tool in Bio-Archaeology’, American Society for Microbiology vol. 10, no. 2.
  • Bats, A. 2000, ‘The production of bread in conical moulds at the beginning of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. The contribution of experimental archaeology’, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports vol 34, pp. 1-10.
  • Borojevic, K., Childs, S.T. 2018. Bread Baking Experiments. In: Bard, K.A., Fattovich, R. (Eds.), Seafaring Expeditions to Punt in the Middle Kingdom. Excavations at Mersa/ Wadi Gawasis, Egypt, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 96, pp. 117–125.
  • Perlingieri, C. 2007, 4.1.g Bread mold production. In K. A. Bard and R. Fattovich (eds.), Harbor of the Pharaohs to the Land of Punt. Archaeological Investigations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt, 2001-2005. Naples, pp. 109-110.
  • Samuel, D. 1989, “Their staff of life: initial investigations on ancient Egyptian bread baking, in Amarna Reports V, ed B. J. Kemp. Pp. 253-90. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
  • Samuel, D. 1994, An archaeological study of baking and bread in New Kingdom Egypt, PhD thesis department of archaeology, University of Cambridge.
  • Wodzińska, A. 2010, A Manual of Egyptian Pottery, Volume 2: Naqada III – Middle Kingdom. Boston: Ancient Egypt Research Associates.

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Organic Residue Analysis Reveals the Function of Bronze Age Metal Daggers

Isabella Caricola and Andrea Dolfini (Newcastle University)


Students of Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Europe have long debated the intended uses of metal weapons and tool-weapons. For most of the 20th century, the prevailing consensus was that, by and large, these objects were symbolic signifiers of male identity and power. As such, they were not deployed in combat except perhaps for the odd skirmish or duel between ‘warrior-heroes’, where performance and bravado would be more important than fighting skills in deciding the contest’s outcome. While the debate mostly centred on swords and shields, all early metal weapons were slotted into the same blanket narrative. Early Bronze Age daggers and halberds, for example, were thought to be ceremonial insignia of status due to perceived weaknesses in their alloy composition and hafting design (Avery et al. 1973; Ó Ríordáin 1937).

In the last two decades, experimental archaeology and metalwork wear analysis (an offshoot of lithic microwear analysis: Dolfini & Crellin 2016) have exposed the limits of these readings. Several studies have shown that, not only were early metal weapons designed with lethal combat in mind, but they were also used to this end, sometimes extensively (see Molloy 2017; Hermann et al. 2020 for review). Unsurprisingly, swords and shields enjoyed pride of place in this line of research, while other weapons received less attention. The dagger was perhaps the most neglected weapon (or tool-weapon) of all, which is surprising considering its early appearance (early 4th millennium BCE) and pan-European spread, from southern Scandinavia to the shores of the Mediterranean. Daggers were doubtless valued by prehistoric society, as shown by their broad diffusion and frequent placement in burials, most notably in ‘warrior graves’ (Dolfini 2022). But where exactly did the social value of these objects originate? Did it stem from the copper alloy they were made of, their shine, and/or their exoticism (Keates 2002)? Was it due to their ability to cut across cultural boundaries (Frieman 2012)? Or did it originate from use?

Thanks to generous EU funding, we set out to address these questions as part of the EuroDag project, a Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship carried out in 2019-21 at Newcastle University, UK. The project deployed a multi-method research approach combining (1) a wide range of use experiments with copper-alloy and flint dagger replicas; (2) the microwear analysis of c.200 prehistoric flint and metal daggers (as well as all dagger replicas used for the experiments); and (3), most innovatively, a trial application of organic residue analysis on ten freshly excavated Bronze Age daggers. The trial succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, shedding new light on how early metal daggers were used, for what tasks they were used, and the materials which they were used to cut. The research was recently published in Nature: Scientific Reports (Caricola et al. 2022).

The daggers in context

Recent excavations from Pragatto, an expansive domestic site near Bologna, Italy, provided the opportunity to test the new method. Pragatto is part of the broader Terramare settlement system, which characterised human occupation of the Po Valley in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, c.1650-1200 BCE (Miari et al. 2019). The Terramare system emerged in the early stages of the Middle Bronze Age due to combined demographic growth, likely population transfer from Alpine lake-side villages, and a novel ability to manage wet and riverine landscapes, which in turn enabled large-scale cultivation of heavy alluvial soils. Terramare sites are square villages ranging from 1 to 20 hectares in size. They were normally built near rivers or streams, whose courses were diverted to fill the ditches surrounding the villages. Embankments and palisades also encircled most sites (Nicolis 2013).

At Pragatto, controlled excavations investigated a 6,900 m2 area corresponding to the southern portion of the Bronze Age village and surrounding ditch and banks. See Figure 14 A-B. An old fieldwork adage maintains that past misfortunes are the modern archaeologist’s golden goose (think Pompeii!), and Pragatto is no exception. In this case, the golden egg consisted of a large fire that swept through the prehistoric village, thereby preserving the remains of nine houses and several animal pens, as well as other features. The fire also led the villagers to abandon over 150 bronzes on site, including daggers, arrowheads, and various craft tools.

Figure 14A. Site location; 14B. Aerial view of the site highlighting excavation areas A, B and C (source: Google Earth); 14C. Copper-alloy daggers analysed as part of the research. Specimen 1) no 1617; 2) no 2037; 3) no 175; 4) no 1707; 5) no 2041; 6) no 1798; 7) no 2035; 8) no 1683; 9) no 1321;10) no 264.

Ten daggers from this remarkable fire-swept cache were selected for further research. See Figure 14C. The sample exemplifies the alloy compositions (i.e., copper with varying amounts of tin and no traces of arsenic or lead), blade morphologies, lengths, and hafting arrangements found in Bronze Age Italy, including leaf-shaped and triangular blades. Except for one specimen (whose bronze handle was cast with the blade), all dagger blades were riveted to handles made of organic materials which have since disappeared. Chronologically, the daggers span the period from c.1550-1250 BCE, as revealed by their find contexts and distinctive morphologies.

Experiments, residue extraction and analysis

We asked experimental archaeologist and bronzesmith Alberto Rossi to prepare eight replica daggers based on Chalcolithic and Bronze Age templates, including blade geometries similar to the Pragatto specimens. He cast three daggers from 4% tin-bronze (a compositional proxy for Early to Middle Bronze Age low-tin alloys) and five daggers from 10% tin-bronze (reflecting Middle to Late Bronze Age high-tin alloys). He then hammer-hardened all replicas, hafted them, and sharpened their cutting edges with a whetstone.

Subsequently, one of these authors (IC) set out to use the replicas for cutting, scraping, and drilling activities lasting 3-5 hours each. She used four daggers to process animal bone, tendons, muscles, and cartilage; she then isolated the residues on the objects and described them through microscopic observation. Two daggers were used for butchering and carving the carcass of a pig (Sus scrofa) and of a red deer (Cervus elaphus); this helped document associations between residues. The final two daggers were used to work green and dry wood and harvest Triticum monococcum and Triticum dicoccum wheat. See Figure 15. Seven to ten days after use, we observed oxidation structures appearing on top of the plant and animal residues, ranging in colour from orange/green to black. Microscopic observation and analysis focused on these structures.

Figure 15. Production and use of bronze dagger replicas. a-h) dagger production including: (a-b) copper melting; (c) hammering of the cutting edges; (d-g) abrasion and polishing of the dagger surface; (h) the finished dagger; i-l) experimental uses of the dagger replicas, namely: (i) butchering; (j) hide scraping; (k) woodworking; (l) cereal harvesting. Photographs by I. Caricola.

The dagger replicas were analysed at the Wolfson Archaeological Laboratory, Newcastle University, and at the Department of Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, using a range of optical microscopes and a Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with EDX microprobe for elemental analysis. The same procedure was employed for the ten daggers from Pragatto. Following Stephenson (2015), we developed a micro-residue sampling and observation protocol using the Picro-Sirius Red Solution (PSR) biochemical stain (used in histology to stain biological tissues and collagen from millennia-old archaeological contexts; Croft 2021; Montes et al. 1985). Further details of the protocol employed for organic residue extraction and characterisation are given in Caricola et al. (2022).

Figure 16. Archaeological residues observed in transmitted and cross-polarized light with staining compound PSR. a-b) sheets collagen with an angular outline; b-f) amorphous compact residues with a rough/cratered surface and peripheral crystalline fragments; g-h) tissue with longitudinal grooves; i-p) bundles of fibre; q-r) striated muscle tissue; s-t) amorphous matter.

Figure 17. Residues observed on the copper-alloy daggers from Pragatto, interpreted as remnants of sheaths. a-h) specimen no 2037 observed under an RH-Hirox digital microscope displays intertwined plant fibres tentatively interpreted as alder (Alnus sp.); (h) SEM imaging of sample no 2037 highlights details of the xylem plant cells and water-conducting tissues; i-l) specimen no 1707 observed with an RH-Hirox digital microscope displays residues of non-determined fur fibres; l) details of the negative cast of the animal fur residues as observed with a SEM microscope. Images by I. Caricola.

Research results

Microscopic observation and SEM-EDX analysis revealed traces of organic residues preserved on the cutting edges, blades, and hafting plates (or tangs) of the dagger replicas. Using PSR as a staining agent allowed us to identify micro-residues of collagen and associated bone, muscle, and tendon bundle fibres, suggesting that the daggers had come into contact with multiple animal tissues. SEM observation showed that the residues were clustered along the cutting edges and at the junction between dagger blade and hafting plate/tang. The residues were mostly trapped within metal corrosion products and striations sited on cutting edges. We interpret the striations as use traces. This interpretation is supported by SEM-EDX analysis of the residues extracted from the archaeological daggers from Pragatto. The analysis revealed abundant hydroxyapatite, a calcium phosphate present in the mineral fraction of bone.

We were able to identify the following organic residues on eight out of ten archaeological daggers. See Figure 16 for collagen including striated muscle tissue, bone tissues, and fibre bundles; and Figure 17 residues of fur/hair fibres and plant material, which we interpret as remnants of dagger sheaths. We could not determine the species of the fur/hair (solely found on one dagger) due to extensive mineralisation of the residues. As for the plant material (observed on three specimens), it was extracted and subjected to botanical analysis. The analysis revealed anatomical structures that are typical of broadleaf plants; the closest match is provided by Alnus sp. (i.e., alder), although this is not a secure identification. Interestingly, the structures observed indicate that at least two species of plant were used for the dagger sheaths. The orientation of the wood elements suggests that the sheaths were built by weaving together small strips of young branches of several plant species, which were probably cut and processed whilst still fresh.


Traditionally, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age metal daggers are mainly thought to be ceremonial implements used to signal identity. This reading is predicated upon their being placed in ‘warrior graves’ and other lavishly equipped burials. For some scholars, however, daggers were primarily designed to function as close-range weapons – a reading supported by (admittedly rare) dagger point tips embedded in human remains as well as skeletal injuries that may have been inflicted by daggers (Guilaine and Zammit 2005; Needham et al. 2017; Vaquer and Remicourt 2010). Other researchers approached the problem through use-wear analysis, which has overall revealed high rates of edge sharpening and minor edge damage that might be due to contact with soft materials. These studies also highlighted relatively high rates of curation and size reduction through repeated sharpening, which is in line with prevalent views that daggers were socially valued (and, at times, extensively used) objects (Dolfini; 2011; Iaia and Dolfini 2020; Wall 1987). None of these studies, however, revealed what early metal daggers were used for, what tasks they aided, and on what materials they were employed.

The research presented above has provided firm answers to these questions. Validated by experiments with dagger replicas, the data emerging from integrated organic-residue and SEM-EDX analysis indicate that prehistoric metal daggers were primarily used to process animal carcasses. The evidence shows interaction with both hard and soft tissues. This suggests that daggers were used for a wide range of tasks that followed (and perhaps comprised) the slaughter of livestock and game, including butchering the carcass and carving the meat from the bone (as shown by bone, tendon, and muscle residues). The evidence tallies with the use-wear studies reviewed above, which point to a widespread desire for keeping daggers sharp throughout their use lives. It is also in line with widespread indications of animal husbandry at Pragatto, as well as our own experiments, which documented how effective daggers can be in detaching soft tissue from bone.

Significantly, the interpretation proposed here is independently validated by the microwear analysis of butchered animal remains from several prehistoric sites, which display metal cut marks (Bello & Soligo 2008; Greenfield 2004). Of course, daggers may have had further functional and symbolic uses, and they probably did. In Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Europe, in particular, daggers might have been utilised as close-range weapons and iconic markers of gender identity. This is shown by their placement in weapon burials and their depictions on rock carvings and stelae.

Future research directions

As well as being great fun (and a mighty challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions), the project has been a resounding success. It has shown that it is possible to borrow the methods of organic residue analysis as developed on ceramics, stone, and other archaeological materials and adapt them to copper alloys. Remarkably, residue extraction was not hindered by surface corrosion – that near-inescapable feature of old metal artefacts – but was rather enabled by it. This is because oxidised structures act as a trap for residues, which are preserved for posterity within the degraded and mineralised surface of the object. This is excellent news for archaeologists. It means that the analytical protocol developed for the Pragatto daggers can be replicated at will and deployed on any copper-alloy artefacts from anywhere in the world.

If you are thinking, “this is too good to be true”, please be aware that, unfortunately, there is a catch! At present, residues can only be extracted from freshly excavated metals that have not been contaminated through extensive handling, storage, cleaning, and conservation. Therefore, the large numbers of prehistoric and early historic bronzes filling the display cases of European museums cannot (yet?) be analysed in this way. Although this is not fundamentally different to other applications of organic residue analysis, metals are, of course, much rarer finds than are flint or potsherds. Therefore, opportunities to analyse them must not be wasted. The take-home message for all researchers interested in addressing functional problems through organic residue analysis is this: do not rush to clean or conserve your metals, as by doing so you may lose irreplaceable data. Instead, place the object in a clear clean bag and leave on any soil that might be sticking to the object. Please monitor the object and bag for condensation development (which should be avoided as much as possible) and send it off to a specialist as soon as you can – you will not regret it!


We are greatly indebted to the many colleagues that contributed their time and subject knowledge to the research. They are: Alasdair Charles, Jacopo Tirillò, Fraser Charlton, Huw Barton, Francesco Breglia, Alberto Rossi, Maria Chiara Deflorian, Anna Maria De Marinis, Susanna Harris, Alessio Pellegrini, Federico Scacchetti, Paolo Boccuccia, and Monica Miari. We also thank Isabel Arce-Garcia for preparing the samples and Cristina Lemorini for liberally allowing access to Sapienza University’s laboratories during the pandemic.

N.B. If you are interested in extracting residues from freshly excavated copper alloys, please contact For Chalcolithic and Bronze Age awls and other craft tools, please contact A charge would normally apply. However, we might be able to analyse selected objects free of charge. Enquiries are welcome.


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