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and having strained the liquor they added to it a little copperas1 and gum, and so obtained an ink that was hard to erase from leather or parchment. And even if the colouring matter were rubbed off a skin, it was, and still is, possible to read what was written by means of the outlines of the letters which had been bitten into the skin by the acid in the ink. Another kind of indelible ink was made from wine, in which galls had been steeped, and gum-water, with the addition of a little copperas. The scribe who gives the first recipe says that it was used for the manufacture of the ink employed in writing " by the Egyptian Fathers who lived in the desert of Scete." It is hardly likely that the Fathers invented this kind of ink, and it is far more probable that they copied a recipe that had been known to the scribes of ancient Egypt from the early dynastic period. In literary papyri the only inks used are black and red, the latter being made, probably, from red ochre. The Egyptians seem to have had no special name for black ink, for rit, is used for any kind of writing fluid. Blue and green colours were probably made from preparations of copper. The coloured ochres-white, yellow, brown, etc.-were carefully rubbed down on a small rectangular slab of granite, basalt, or marble with a hard stone muller before being mixed with gum and water. A good example of such a slab and muller is B.M. 5547, which was made for Queen Tui, a wife of Rameses II. The scribe,
or artist, who painted the brightly coloured vignettes in such papyri as those of Ani, Hunefer and Nekht, must have kept a stock of small lumps of prepared ochres similar to those that we see in the bronze bowl, B.M. 5556. Under the XVIIIth dynasty, when riches poured into Egypt from the Sûdân and Western Asia, bronze figures of the gods were plated with gold; ushabtiu figures were decorated with gold (B.M. 22742, 24390), but the precious metal was not used in illuminating the Vignettes of the Book of the Dead, however brightly coloured they may have been. The only example known to me of the use of gold in a papyrus is found in the copy of the Book of the Dead that was written for Anhai, a singing woman and priestess of Amen-Ra (B.M. 10472). Here, in the Vignette of the Sunrise, we see the god Ra-Ḥerȧakhuti, or Rā-Horus of the Two Horizons, in the form of a hawk, wearing the solar disk encircled by a serpent on his head. The disk of the sun is gilded, and the surface of the papyrus at this place seems to have been painted yellow before the gold leaf was aid over it.
1 Sulphate of iron (?).
See the recipes in the Syriac MS. Add. 14632, foll. 2 and 17 (Wright, Catalogue of Syriac MSS., p. 581).