Non-invasive investigation of a pre-Hispanic Maya screenfold book: The Madrid Codex

David Buti, Davide Domenici, Costanza Miliani, Conception García Sáiz, Teresa Gómez Espinoza, Feliz Jímenez Villalba, Ana Verde Casanova, Aldo Romani, Federica Presciutti, Brenda Doherty, Bruno Giovanni Brunetti, Antonio Sgamellotti

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The Madrid Codex, one of only a few existing pre-Hispanic Maya codices that survived the Spanish destruction, has been analysed in situ at the Museo de América in Madrid by means of an array of non-invasive techniques. This investigation has provided information concerning the colouring materials used in its manufacture, namely calcium carbonate, red ochre, vegetal carbon black and Maya blue pigments observing bright blue to grey hues. A discussion of archaeological implications of the materials identified, as well as some comparative observations with those previously acquired on the Central Mexican Codex Cospi have been addressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Pages (from-to)166-178
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Mesoamerican codices
  • Non-invasive techniques
  • Maya blue

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