Decoding The Secrets Of Egyptian Blue – World’s Oldest Artificial Pigment And Its Extraordinary Properties

There are plenty of examples demonstrating how ancient civilizations were fascinated and adaptive with the blue dcolor. Blue was undoubtedly considered to be the color of the gods. Since heavenly God’s and Goddesses were believed to reside in the heavens and blue, archaic people view blues as a sacred color.

Sumerians created several ancient statues of beings with huge and blue eyes. These ancient and significant statues were then placed in the high temple on the very top of the ziggurat. Similar old statues with blue eyes have been discovered in so many other parts of the world, such as India, Egypt, and South America.

Egyptian Blue Has Extraordinary Properties

The four historically most important ´blue pigments or dye are Egyptian blue, azurite, lapis lazuli and smalt.
However, Egyptian blue is considered to be the world’s oldest artificial pigment. It first noticed about 5,000 years ago in a tomb painting dated to the reign of Ka-sen, the last king of Egypt’s First Dynasty.


Scientists have revealed that the Egyptian blue pigment has extraordinary properties and that will help reconstructing the past and possibly shape the future technologies.


The material used for Egyptian blue its color is calcium copper silicate. It was made by grinding sand, copper, and lime and heating at very high temperature in a furnace.
Egyptian blue was significantly used in ancient times as a pigment in painting, such as in tombs, wall paintings, mummies’ coffins, and a ceramic glaze known as Egyptian faience.


Once ancient people were aware of Egyptian blue many started using it, and today, we can find it on, for example, early medieval wall paintings in Rome. It was often used as a substitute or contemporary for lapis lazuli, an extremely expensive and rare mineral sourced in Afghanistan.


Egyptian blue “remained quite prevalent until the beginning of the Middle Ages, but it not possible to predict an exact date for its disappearance from use. It has been mentioned that the employment of this pigment became less frequent around the fifth and fourth centuries AD, surviving only in outer areas such as central and southern Italy.

Modern Use Of Egyptian Blue

When illuminated with visible light, scientists have noticed that Egyptian blue emits near-infrared rays with unusual exceptional strength, with even single particles of the pigment detectable from a large distance of a few yards.


This suggests Egyptian blue could be used for modern applications. For example, it can be used in advanced biomedical engineering. Learning more on the ancient Egyptian concept with the pigment’s near-infrared-emitting property, scientists have proposed using it as a nano-ink.


The very fact that the secret powder of Pharaohs emits infrared radiation when exposed to a certain types of lights and has unusual properties can help forensics forensic experts solving crimes .

When forensic experts arrive at a crime scene, they dust some relevant surfaces with a powder of a contrasting color that sticks to the fingerprints present on the crime scene. However, problems is that fingerprints may be hard to get on the surface on a shiny or highly patterned surface.


Egyptian blue can be used when all conventional means becomes unsuccessful. Scientists have also researched that ancient Egyptian blue can be used to create new nanomaterial that is 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Hence Egyptian blue is more than just a color with great properties.
A great invention from our Ancient people and Ancient advance technology.

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