Burney Relief/Queen of the Night

1900-1800 BC

Old Babylonian

Scientific analysis of the pigments reveals extensive use of red ochre on the body of the main female figure. It is probable that gypsum was used as a white pigment in some areas although the possibility that it is present as the result of efflorescence from salts contained in ground water cannot be firmly excluded. The dark areas on the background all contained carbon rather than bitumen as previously assumed. 

(Source: The British Museum)


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