The Pigment Made Out of Real Mummies

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Considered to be a highly variable pigment between raw umber (almost greenish brown) and burnt umber (a ruddier brown), Mummy Brown was a transparent brown good for mixing.

Made from ancient Egyptian human and feline mummies grave-robbed as antiquities in Europe, there was a craze to use the bodies for everything from fertilizer to beauty creams to fine art paint pigment.

The pigment itself wasn’t easily imitated. It wasn’t just made regular long-dried out corpses. The mummification process involved asphaltum or bitumen, often in place of the removed organs. Whole mummies were then ground for commercial use.

Via Scientific American.

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