Chapter

An Ancient Cleanser: Soap Production and Use in Antiquity

Chapter

An Ancient Cleanser: Soap Production and Use in Antiquity

If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract

The production of soap is one of the later forms of chemical technology in the ancient world. Yet, it is also one of the least studied. Unlike inorganic materials such as glass or ceramics, soap does not leave any archeological treasures that can be studied to chart its history. Instead, our understanding of the chemical technology of soap must rely primarily on the written record. The earliest evidence of soap production dates to the 3rd millennium BCE from Mesopotamian clay tablets. As soap can be produced through the simple combination of plant ash and animal fat, it is quite possible that it was formed prior to that time period, although no empirical evidence for its earlier existence has been found. An overview of the historical production and usage of soap will be presented, as it pertains to its origins in antiquity through the Roman era.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Date seeds contain 6-8% essential oil suitable for usage in the production of moisturizing soaps/creams, shampoos, and other skincare products [81,82]. Moreover, date seed oil has been used in the production of medicine, food, and even cosmetics [74,83]. Table 3. Value-added food and cosmetic products from date fruits and seeds. ...
... Increases the shelf life of cosmetics. [83,90,93] Syringic acid Seed. Fragrance ingredient and surfactant-emulsifying, surfactant-cleansing tool, skin penetration enhancer. ...
... UV stabilizer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial agent. [83,90,95] Caffeic Acid Fruit and Seed. Antioxidant. ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Many recent studies in the field of cosmetics have focused on organically sourced substances. Products made from organic materials are safe, high quality, cruelty-free, and more effective than those made from synthetic materials. Many organic compounds are known to be physiologically active in humans and have an extended storage capacity and long-lasting environmental effects. Agro-industrial waste has recently increased substantially, and the disposal of date palm waste, often performed in primitive ways such as burning, is harmful to the environment. Fruit processing industries generate over 10% of the total date seed waste daily, which could be converted into useful food products. Date fruit and seed are rich in sugar, vitamins, fiber, minerals, and phenolic compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that significantly promote human and animal health. This waste is rich in bioactive compounds and essential oils used in many kinds of food, medicine, and cosmetics. Most active cosmetic ingredients come from natural sources such as fruit, fish, and dairy, and recent research shows that date extract and seed oil help to reduce melanin, eczema, acne, and dry patches, while increasing skin moisture and elasticity. This review details the bioactive compounds and nutraceutical properties of date fruit and seed, and their use as cosmetic ingredients.
... The Greek physician Galenus first introduced soaps for therapeutic purposes and cleaning the body in 200 CE (Partington, 1999). The Sumerian pharmacological tablet, one of the oldest preserved medical documents from about 2200 BCE, combined animal and vegetable oils with soda and other alkalies and used it to form a soap-like material for medical purposes (Konkol and Rasmussen, 2015). Technological advances over time until the 19th century revealed different structures of fatty acids in neutral fats and oils, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of soap-making chemistry (Willcox, 2000). ...
Article
A year into the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the role of washing hands with soap and hand disinfectants is unavoidable as a primary way to control the infection spread in communities and healthcare facilities. The extraordinary surge in demand for handwashing products has led to environmental concerns. Since soaps are complex mixtures of toxic and persistent active ingredients, the prudent option is to promote eco-friendly replacements for the current products. On the other hand, with the increase in soap packaging waste production, soap packaging waste management and recycling become essential to reduce environmental impact. This systematic review aimed to collect some recent methods for identifying biodegradable and sustainable raw materials to produce and package cleaning agents, especially soap.
... Lipids in the presence of an aqueous alkali salt undergo a saponification reaction to form soap (Kent, 2003;Mabrouk, 2005). Sodiumbased salts form a hard soap while potassium-based salts form soft (liquid suspension) soaps (Konkol and Rasmussen, 2015). In a typical 10% aqueous KOH digestion, saponification will occur if the lipid content is sufficiently high within the solution, even at room temperature. ...
Article
Full-text available
Given current concerns regarding the extent of microplastic contamination in the environment, routine monitoring for microplastics in biological tissues is becoming increasingly common place. However, complex sample matrices, such as lipid-rich tissues, require multiple pre-treatment steps which may lead to increased sample processing time and costs, and a reduction in microplastic recovery rates thereby hindering monitoring efforts. Lipid-rich (fat) tissues often pose difficulties for traditional potassium hydroxide (KOH) digestion methods due to saponification. This reaction produces a suspension of glycerol and fatty acids (soaps), which may entrap microplastics inhibiting their recovery and clog filters thus reducing the efficiency of the filtration or inhibiting it altogether. In this study, the incorporation of 100% ethanol (EtOH) to existing KOH digestion methods was found to completely redissolve the viscous saponified gel formed in these reactions, with a digestion efficiency greater than 97% for all treated lipid-rich tissue samples. Recovery of spiked polyethylene and polystyrene fragments, and rayon and polyester fibers, ranged from 93% to 100%. The addition of EtOH did not induce physical or chemical degradation on these polymers. The inclusion of an ad hoc decision-making tool within the digestion workflow reduced pre-processing time for samples and allowed for solid saponified samples to be completely redissolved. This validated workflow facilitates high through-put sampling of biota, by enabling lipid-rich tissues to be filtered with a high degree of efficiency thereby successfully separating microplastics from their gelatinous matrix.
... Lipids in the presence of an aqueous alkali salt undergo a saponification reaction to form soap (Kent, 2003;Mabrouk, 2005). Sodiumbased salts form a hard soap while potassium-based salts form soft (liquid suspension) soaps (Konkol and Rasmussen, 2015). In a typical 10% aqueous KOH digestion, saponification will occur if the lipid content is sufficiently high within the solution, even at room temperature. ...
Book
This is a Frontiers e-book comprised of a collection of articles that discuss a wide range of topics related to microplastic pollution. You can download the e-book via the link bellow: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/12090/microplastics-in-the-marine-environment-sources-distribution-biological-effects-and-socio-economic-i
... Soap is the oldest manmade surfactant used for personal cleaning and laundry purposes [152]. Soap consists mainly of alkali salts of long-chain fatty acids responsible for its detergent properties and is available commercially mostly as soap bars. ...
Chapter
The application of microbially derived biosurfactants can be of great benefit in the industrial production of personal care and detergent-based products. Both product categories have common features: dependence of their production on large amounts of synthetic surfactants, widespread daily life usage by the general population worldwide, and unwise disposal, posing significant health and environmental risks. There is a currently increasing demand for more ecocompatible products and safer ingredients, driven by industrial sustainability, environmental awareness, and new regulations. Microbially based biosurfactants offer great benefits in this respect. Additionally, biosurfactants possess a high surface activity and directly associated functional properties and antimicrobial activity of high relevance to the personal care and cleaning industries. This chapter briefly highlights the advantages and functional properties of biosurfactants critical to their application in these industries. It also provides an updated overview of the evolution of biosurfactants in the development of different personal care and detergent-based cleaning products.
... KOH reacts with triglycerides producing potassium salts of fatty acids. Sodium-based salts form a hard soap while potassium-based salts form soft (liquid suspension) soaps (Konkol and Rasmussen, 2015). The production of the soap layer turns difficult or impossible to perform the filtration step and isolate potential microplastics. ...
Article
Potassium hydroxide (KOH) digestion protocols are currently applied to separate microplastics from biological samples, allowing efficient digestion with minor degradation of polymers in a time- and cost-effective way. For biota samples with high-fat content, KOH reacts with triglycerides generating an overlying soap layer, making difficult the digestion and solubilization and subsequent microplastics extraction. Here we studied the addition of Tween-20 in different concentrations to evaluate the effect on the soap layer of post-digested samples. Addition of 10 % of Tween-20 presented higher flow rate during filtration, being set as optimal value. Incorporation of Tween-20 in the extraction procedure increased recovery rates of LDPE, PC and PET and appears to have a protective effect on PC and PET degradation. Tween-20 did not interfere in FTIR spectrum of polymers available in the marine environment. Being low-toxic, makes addition of Tween-20 a simple and economical way to optimize KOH digestion protocols for microplastics extraction.
... In ancient times, soap was produced with rancid oils and animal fat waste, involuntarily creating a circular economy with the requalification of products no longer used for human nutrition [1]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study reports the alternative use of non-edible fermented olives for the production of high-quality natural soaps with a fast production process, low environmental impact, and without preliminary treatments for the raw material. Damaged olives, not used as food, were fermented naturally and the oil was extracted by mechanical extraction. The product obtained was not for human consumption due to its high acidity, but it had a low content of peroxides. The non-edible olive oil obtained and an extra virgin olive oil, produced from the same olive cultivar, were subjected to saponification with sodium hydroxide. The soaps were produced with complete (0% of non-neutralized fatty acids) and incomplete (5% of non-neutralized fatty acids) saponification; the amount of sodium hydroxide to be used was determined with the saponification index. The soaps were aged for six months by monitoring pH, color, and behavior in an aqueous solution. The results show that the olives’ fermentation improves and speeds up the soap production and maturation process since the oil obtained from fermented non-edible olives is more suitable for the saponification process than the oil obtained from non-fermented edible olives. Non-edible fermented olives can be used for obtaining natural and high-quality soaps, reusing drupes classified as food waste.
Article
Full-text available
سالهاست که شوینده ها و پاک کننده ها در زندگی بشر وارد شده و با توسعه بهداشت فردی و محیطی نقش بسیار ارزنده ای را در رفع آلودگی ها و ارتقای بهداشت و سلامت جوامع ایفا می نمایند. امروزه، با گسترش بیماری ها و به ویژه شیوع ویروس کرونا در یکسال اخیر، اهمیت مصرف این محصولات بهداشتی افزایش یافته و نقش آ نها در سلامت بشر بیش از پیش نمایان شده است. ترکیبات خاص شیمیایی موجود در این محصولات در کنار فزونی مصرف آنها موجبات نگرانی های بیش از پیش در بروز و افزایش مشکلات متعدد زیست محیطی را فراهم آورده است. بازگشت به طبیعت و استفاده از ظرفیت های آن می تواند راهکاری مناسب برای کاهش اثرات مخرب زیست محیطی ترکیبات شیمیایی شوینده ها باشد. چه آن که در گذشته نیز از مواد و گیاهان بسیاری برای بهره مندی از خاصیت شویندگی و پاک کنندگی آنها استفاده می شده است. خوشبختانه، امروزه استفاده از این مواد و گیاهان، به دلیل اثرات مثبت آن ها در حفظ و نگهداری طبیعت مورد توجه و اقبال برخی واحدهای هوشمند در حوزه صنایع آرایشی و بهداشتی قرار گرفته و در حال گسترش است. گل صابونی یا ساپوناریا یکی از این گیاهان طبیعی ارزشمند است که محتوی ترکیبات شوینده طبیعی می باشد.
Chapter
Although sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium were isolated as the chemical elements by Sir Humphry Davy for the first time at the beginning of the 19th century, alkali salts and hydroxides have been widely known and used since the very ancient time. The word “alcali” & “alkali” was borrowed in the 14th century by literary Roman-Germanic languages from Arabic al-qalī, al-qâly ou al-qalawi (), which means “calcinated ashes” of saltwort plants. These ashes are characterized nowadays as mildly basic. They have been widely used in therapy, cosmetics, and pharmacy in Mediaeval Europe and the Middle East. However, the consumption of these alkali containing ashes, as well as natron salts and calcined lime-based materials used for different customer purposes, like therapy, pharmacy, cosmetics, glass making, textile treating, dyes, brick making, binding materials, etc., was commonly known since the very ancient times. The current review of the archeological, historical, and technological data provides the readers with the scope of the different everyday life applications of alkali and alkali-earth salts and hydroxides from ancient times till nowadays. The review obviously reveals that many modern chemical manufacturing processes using alkali and alkali-earth salts and hydroxides have a very ancient history. In contrast, there has been a similarity of targets for implementing alkali and alkali-earth salts and hydroxides in everyday life, from the ancient past till the modern period. These processes are ceramic and glass making, binding materials in construction, textile treatment, metallurgy, etc. So, this review approves the common statement: “The Past is a clue for the Future.”
Article
Full-text available
Cosmetology (τέχνη κοσμητική), i.e. a resource of means aimed at maintaining natural beauty of a human, was not frowned upon by the pagans nor by the Christians. What they disapproved of was commotic (κομμωτικὴ τέχνη), defined (by Galen, Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa and Theodoret of Cyrus ) as an art of changing the outward appearance to the detriment of nature and one’s health. The present study has been designed to discuss select information, extant in Book VIII of Iatricorum libri by Aëtius of Amida, on what preparations were at disposal of the people of the Mediterranean who cared for their physical cleanliness (as well as health), regardless of their religious proclivities. It is focused on a number of prescriptions for face and body cleansers, though the analysed inventory has been limited to the ones including frankincense. The research material has turned out to be ample enough to draw conclusions on the ingredients used in such agents, their effectiveness, the form of the preparations, their application mode as well as on the addressees of the recipes. It has been also suggested that the formulas were compiled from the body of medical knowledge akin to what was collected by Titus Statilius Crito in his work On cosmetics.
Article
Full-text available
Adsorption is a unit operation widely used for the tertiary treatment of the most diverse effluents, whose mechanism is based on removing recalcitrant compounds from the organic and inorganic origin. In this process, choosing a suitable adsorbent is a fundamental point. This review article focuses on the adsorbents with natural geological origin: minerals, clays, geopolymers, and even wastes resulted from mining activity. Therefore, over 450 articles and research papers were explored. These materials' main sources are described, and their characteristics, composition, and intrinsic properties are related to adsorption. Herein, we discuss the effects of several process parameters, such as pH, temperature, pollutant, and adsorbent concentration. Furthermore, equilibrium, kinetics, and thermodynamic aspects are also addressed, and relevant regeneration prospects and final disposal. Finally, some suggestions and perspectives on applying these adsorbents in wastewater treatment are presented as future trends.
Chapter
Soap is a general term that refers to materials that serve to remove undesirable soils from clothing, body/skin, and other articles. Archeological discoveries described the making and the use of a soap‐like substance as far back as ca. 5000 years ago. Throughout the ages, the soap‐like substance having a cleaning function has evolved into many physical forms, starting with the most familiar bar soaps to the more recent liquid soaps and the washing gels. Along with the evolution of the physical form of soap, the scientific basis of its washing ability had also been studied which lead to the invention of new chemicals to suit various applications and formulations. In this article, a brief history of the discovery of soap is presented, together with the theoretical basis of its cleaning activity. A few commonly employed production processes for making the soap products is also discussed. The key materials used in the manufacturing process of soap are highlighted. Finally, the commercial and economic aspects of the present days soap manufacturing were analyzed. It is the goal of this contribution to provide a broad view of the arts, science, and economics of soapmaking.
Article
Four Late Iron Age bath-shaped basins from three sites in the Southern Levant were subjected to organic residue analysis by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) to test the hypothesis that the vessels were used for wool scouring and fulling. All lipid extracts of the samples contained saturated and unsaturated lipids. These were compared to the same compounds in a series of reference materials selected based on ethno-historical and literary documentation. A final comparison was made to lipids extracted from a bath-shaped basin from Turkey that had previously been found to contain a residue similar in compounds to date palm kernel oil. Results demonstrate that the total lipid extracts (TLEs) from the bath-shaped basins are more similar to each other and to date palm kernel oil than to the other comparative materials. This supports the accepted view that bath-shaped basins in the Levant, comparable in date and shape, had a common function, but suggests functional alternatives to traditional interpretations of human burial or bathing. While wool working is a viable hypothesis, it was not possible to identify the specific activity as several different behaviors could result in a similar organic residue.
Article
Full-text available
A general adsorption model based on partial dissociation was developed for carboxylic acids. The model was applied to the adsorption of nonanoic acid at the air/water interface. Two cases were selected for experimental verification: acid-only and acid with a constant Na⁺OH– concentration. The model was applied simultaneously at both conditions, and the hydrophilicity of the ionic states was quantified by the adsorption constants, KA and KAH. It was found that the adsorption constant for the acidic group is significantly higher than that for the carboxylate group, KAH/KA ∼ 272. The model lays important groundwork for modeling and predicting carboxylic/carboxylate adsorption.
Chapter
Full-text available
Prospectiva (Frutal). Universidade de ideias volume 4. Otávio Luiz Machado (Org.). Cita: Otávio Luiz Machado (Org.) (2016). Universidade de ideias volume 4. Frutal: Prospectiva. Dirección estable: http://www.aacademica.org/editora.prospectiva.oficial/36 Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons. Para ver una copia de esta licencia, visite http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.es. Acta Académica es un proyecto académico sin fines de lucro enmarcado en la iniciativa de acceso abierto. Acta Académica fue creado para facilitar a investigadores de todo el mundo el compartir su producción académica. Para crear un perfil gratuitamente o acceder a otros trabajos visite: http://www.aacademica.org.
Article
Full-text available
The characterization by means of Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry of the binding medium present in eight samples of Roman wall paintings coming from three archaeological sites in Spain and a sample of a Roman-Egyptian mummy portrait on wood showed strong evidence that the medium in all the studied samples was composed of beeswax and soap. These results suggest for the first time that Roman artists used in wall and easel paintings a water soluble encaustic paint of beeswax and soap. Experimental studies with a wax-and-soap technique showed that this painting technique allows reproduction of the physical characteristics of many Roman-Egyptian encaustic mummy portraits with greater accuracy than the hot wax encaustic paint and the alkali-treated encaustic paint often considered to be the painting techniques used in these portraits. Wax-and-soap encaustic also showed greater accuracy in reproducing the physical characteristics of Roman wall paintings than the fresco painting technique, generally thought to be the technique used to execute such paintings. This study suggests that wax-and-soap encaustic could be a common painting technique among Roman artists, and its composition could correspond to a lost ancient encaustic formulation searched for the last five centuries by many artists and researchers dissatisfied with the former reconstructions of the ancient encaustic painting technique.
Article
Full-text available
A first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of tribe Salsoleae s.l. (Salsoloideae: Chenopodiaceae) is presented based on maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analysis of nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer and chloroplast psbB-psbH DNA sequences. Our data strongly support (1) the sister relationship of Camphorosmeae to the Salsoleae s.l.; (2) splitting of Salsoleae s.l. into two monophyletic tribes, Salsoleae s.s. and Caroxyloneae tribus nova; (3) the current status of most monotypic or oligotypic genera in Salsoleae; and (4) polyphyly of the Botschantzev and Freitag (among others) circumscriptions of Salsola, which falls into 10 (on average) monophyletic genera/lineages. Three well-supported genera are described as new (Pyankovia, Kaviria, and Turania), and four previously described genera are resurrected (Caroxylon, Clima-coptera, Kali, and Xylosalsola). Salsola s.s. include a group of central and southwest Asian and north African species that consists of Salsola sect. Salsola s.s., Salsola sect. Caroxylon subsect. Coccosalsola, Salsola sect. Obpyrifolia, Fadenia, Hypocylix, Seidlitzia, and Darniella. All species of tribe Caroxyloneae investigated so far have C 4 photosynthesis of the NAD-malic enzyme subtype, while the majority of the species of Salsoleae s.s. are known to be of the NADP-malic enzyme subtype.
Article
Full-text available
Soda-rich plant ashes have been used in the Near East and Egypt in the production of glass and faience from the 4th millennium BC onwards, and mixed alkali plant ashes have been similarly used in western Europe during the 2nd and first half of the 1st millennia BC. In the production of these ashes, the plants of interest are salt resistant, halophytic plants of the Chenopodiaceae family, growing in coastal, salt marsh and desert regions. A primary criterion in selecting ashes for glass and faience production is that the alkalis are predominantly in the form of carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxides rather than either chlorides or sulphates. In the current paper, previously published data for such ashes are brought together and re-assessed, and new analytical data are presented for ashes produced from plants collected in Egypt, Greece and the UK. For the ashes produced from Salsola kali plants collected from Greece and the UK, the soda to potash ratios (0.3–1.8) do not show any systematic differences between the regions in which the plant was growing, but instead reflect the fact that this species favours the accumulation of K+ over Na+ ions. Further, the results suggest that S. kali could have been the source of the mixed alkali ashes used in western Europe, if the ashes had first been treated in some way in order to reduce their lime-plus-magnesia contents.
Article
Full-text available
In this study we analysed ETS sequence data of 164 accessions belonging to 31 taxa of Salicornia, a widespread, hygrohalophytic genus of succulent, annual herbs of Chenopodiaceae subfam. Salicornioideae, to investigate phylogenetic and biogeographical patterns and hypothesise about the processes that shaped them. Furthermore, our aim was to understand the reasons for the notorious taxonomic difficulties in Salicornia. Salicornia probably originated during the Miocene somewhere between the Mediterranean and Central Asia from within the perennial Sarcocornia and started to diversify during Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene. The climatic deterioration and landscape-evolution caused by orogenetic processes probably favoured the evolution and initial diversification of this annual, strongly inbreeding lineage from the perennial Sarcocornia that shows only very limited frost tolerance. The further diversification of Salicornia was promoted by at least five intercontinental dispersal events (2× to South Africa, at least 3× to North America) and at least two independentpolyploidization events resulting in rapidly expanding tetraploid lineages, both of which are able to grow in lower belts of the saltmarshes than their diploid relatives. The diploid lineages of Salicornia also show rapid and effective range expansion resulting in both widespread genotypes and multiple genotypes in a given area. Reproductive isolation through geographical isolation after dispersal, inbreeding, and comparatively young age might be responsible for the large number of only weakly differentiated lineages. The sequence data show that the taxonomic confusion in Salicornia has two major reasons: (1) in the absence of a global revision and the presence of high phenotypic plasticity, the same widespread genotypes having been given different names in different regions, and (2) striking morphological parallelism and weak morphological differentiation led to the misapplication of the same name to different genotypes in one region.
Article
This book has a pedigree. It has developed from earlier publications by the author and from his experience over 50 years in reading, writing, thinking, and working with lipids and fatty acids. The earlier publications are: (i) An Introduction to the Chemistry of Fats and Fatty Acids, Chapman and Hall, 1958. (ii) An Introduction to the Chemistry and Biochemistry of Fatty Acids and their Glycerides, Chapman and Hall, 1967. (iii) Lipids in Foods: Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Technology (with F. A. Norris), Pergamon Press, 1983. (iv) The Lipid Handbook (with J. L. Harwood and F. B. Padley), Chapman and Hall, first edition 1986, second edition 1994. (v) A Lipid Glossary (with B. G. Herslof), The Oily Press, Dundee, 1992. (vi) Lecture notes for a course on Fatty Acids and Lipids designed for those entering the oil and fat industry and given on over 20 occasions since 1977. The book is dedicated to the next generation of lipid scientists. The study of lipids now involves many disciplines, all of which require a basic knowledge of the chemical nature and properties of these molecules, which is what this book is about. It is written particularly for those who, with some knowledge of chemistry or biochemistry, need to know more about the nature of lipids and fatty acids.
Book
The Alphabet of Galen is a critical edition and English translation of a text describing, in alphabetical order, nearly three hundred natural products - including metals, aromatics, animal materials, and herbs - and their medicinal uses. A Latin translation of earlier Greek writings on pharmacy that have not survived, it circulated among collections of ‘authorities’ on medicine, including Hippocrates, Galen of Pergamun, Soranus, and Ps. Apuleius. This work presents interesting linguistic features, including otherwise unattested Greek and Latin technical terms and unique pharmacological descriptions. Nicholas Everett provides a window onto the medieval translation of ancient science and medieval conceptions of pharmacy. With a comprehensive scholarly apparatus and a contextual introduction, The Alphabet of Galen is a major resource for understanding the richness and diversity of medical history.
Chapter
The name 'Epic of Gilgamesh' is given to the Babylonian poem that tells the deeds of Gilgamesh, the greatest king and mightiest hero of ancient Mesopotamian legend. The poem falls into the category 'epic' because it is a long narrative poem of heroic content and has the seriousness and pathos that have sometimes been identified as markers of epic. Some early Assyriologists, when nationalism was a potent political force, characterized it as the 'national epic' of Babylonia, but this notion has deservedly lapsed. The poem's subject is not the establishment of a Babylonian nation nor an episode in that nation's history, but the vain quest of a man to escape his mortality. In its final and best-preserved version it is a sombre meditation on the human condition. The glorious exploits it tells are motivated by individual human predicaments, especially desire for fame and horror of death. The emotional struggles related in the story of Gilgamesh are those of no collective group but of the individual. Among its timeless themes are the friction between nature and civilization, friendship between men, the place in the universe of gods, kings and mortals, and the misuse of power. The poem speaks to the anxieties and life-experience of a human being, and that is why modern readers find it both profound and enduringly relevant.
Chapter
industrial detergents;institutional detergents
Article
At least fifty small iron sickles were found in the pit on Rheneia to which the Athenians removed the contents of the Delos graves during the purification of 425 B.C. Various scholars have attempted to associate these with Thucydides' (i 8.1) report of the identification of Carian graves by the armour found in them on the occasion of the purification, and Herodotus' remark (vii 93) that Carian soldiers carried daggers and sickles ( drepana ). Similar sickles were also found in fifth-century graves on Rheneia, so the practice was clearly not a particularly ancient one in Herodotus' and Thucydides' day, but it was equally not a normal practice in any other part of Greece. The pit yielded the usual assemblage of Classical grave furniture with one notable exception — strigils — and it is worth considering whether, on Delos and Rheneia, these simpler small iron blades, like sickles, were employed as strigils. The usual Classical strigil is an elaborate affair of bronze with a curved hollow blade and shaped handle. It was used to scrape oil and dirt from an athlete's skin, a regular piece of palaestra equipment, and regarded as a peculiarly personal possession, like a man's favourite pipe or razor. On several Archaic and a few Classical gravestones the dead is characterised as an athlete with strigil and oil bottle, and strigils are very common offerings in Classical graves all over Greece. We would expect them on Delos: we have the ‘sickles’ instead. Clearly, for the purpose of removing oil from the body they would have served just as well. They are small for agricultural use (blades 10 to 17 cm. long) and with only one hole for fastening they could hardly be considered very sturdy implements.
Article
For nearly 600 years, from the battles of the early fourteenth century to the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, firearms derived from gunpowder and other chemicals defined the frightful extent of war. The apparatus and materials used in World War I would have been familiar to our remote ancestors. In this classic work, first published in 1960, James Riddick Partington provides a worldwide survey of the evolution of incendiary devices, Greek fire, and gunpowder. Greek fire, a composition Partington believes was made of a distilled petroleum fraction and other ingredients (but not saltpetre), was most famously used in the sieges of Constantinople and the Crusades. Partington moves from its antecedents--other incendiaries used in ancient warfare--to European gunpowder recipe books (The Latin Book of Fire, Bellifortis, and Feuerwerkbuch) and the history of infernal machines, mines, canon, small arms, and artillery. His book includes chapters on gunpowder and weapons in Muslim lands, India, and China--including fire books, the use of gunpowder as a propellant, the artillery of the Mughal Emperors, and the use of saltpetre in explosives. He traces the development of gunpowder to eleventh-century China and cites the first known mention and picture of a firearm in 1326. "The history of gunpowder and firearms has attracted many authors with varying interests. The general historian must take account of major inventions effecting revolutions in the life of nations. The historian of science is concerned mostly with the invention of gunpowder. The historian of technology examines the development in the manufacture of explosives and weapons, and the way in which gunpowder has found applications in the peaceful arts. The military historian deals mainly with the use of gunpowder as an explosive and a propellant ...and the development of firearms and their use in warfare. No recent book in English (or for that matter in any language) has attempted a concise survey of the subject."--from the Preface
Article
A Roman wall painting of the first century AD, recently discovered in Rome, has been studied extensively, in situ, by non-destructive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. The coloured pigments, the medium and the plaster were all examined. The presence of potassium and calcium in all coloured layers demonstrates that the painting technique is of a type very similar to that used in Pompeian wall paintings, and described in the 1950s by Selim Augusti. In this type of wall painting, the pigments were dissolved in a lime/soap/water solution, the function of the soap being to mitigate the negative effects of lime on alkali-sensitive mineral-based colours. /// Une peinture murale romaine datant du premier siècle après Jesus-Christ, récemment découverte a Rome, a été étudiée de manière exhaustive, in situ, par spectrométrie de fluorescence X, une méthode non-destructive. Les pigments colorés, le liant et l'enduit ont été examinés. La présence de potassium et de calcium dans les couches picturales montrent que la technique de peinture est très proche de celle utilisée à Pompéi décrite par Selim Augusti dans les années 1950. Dans ce type de peinture murale, les pigments étaient délayés dans une solution aqueuse de chaux et de savon, le rôle de ce dernier étant de limiter les effets négatifs de la chaux sur les couleurs minérales sensibles aux bases. /// Eine in jüngster Zeit in Rom entdeckte Wandmalerei aus dem ersten Jahrhundert wurde intensiv, in situ, durch zerstörungsfreie Röntgenfluoreszenzanalyse (RFA) untersucht. Die farbigen Pigmente, das Bindemittel und der Putz wurden bestimmt. Die Anwesenheit von Calcium und Natrium in allen farbigen Schichten belegt, daß die Maltechnik sehr stark der der Pompeianischen Wandmalerei ähnelt, die 1950 von Selim Augusti beschrieben wurde. Bei dieser Technik wurden die Pigmente in wäßrigen Suspensionen aus Kalk und Seife aufgeschlämmt, wobei die Seife die Aufgabe hatte, die negativen Einflüsse des Kalk auf basenempfindliche Pigmente abzuschwächen. /// Una pintura mural romana del siglo I d.C. que ha sido descubierta recientemente en Roma, ha sido ampliamente estudiada in situ; se ha empleado análisis no destructivo por medio de fluorescencia de rayos X (XRF). Se examinaron, así mismo, los pigmentos coloreados, el aglutinante y el enlucido. La presencia de potasio y calcio en todas las capas pigmentadas demuestra que la técnica pictórica es de un tipo similar a la usada en los murales pompeyanos, y descrita en la década de 1950 por Selim Augusti. En este tipo de pinturas murales los pigmentos se disolvían en una solución de cal, jabón y agua; la función del jabón era mitigar los efectos negativos de la cal en los colores de naturaleza mineral sensibles a los medios de carácter alcalino.
Article
Examines the origin of soap, various forms and sources of soap, and the medical implications of soap. Keywords (Audience): General Public
Article
Synchrotron IR micro-spectroscopy is appropriately suited to the analysis of small particles of archaeological cosmetics. The sample originates from a 33 centuries old Egyptian cosmetic remain. Thanks to the high spectral quality and high lateral resolution achieved by this synchrotron-based microspectroscopic tool, new insights into the composition and spatial location of both organic and mineral components of the sample were obtained. Five different particles were analyzed and delivered similar findings: the core is fat rich, and surrounded with a mineral phase. In two particles, lead palmitate was clearly identified as a major component. Phosgenite (Pb2CO3Cl2), a lead salt synthesized in aqueous solution, was also located in region near the surface of the particles.
Article
Lead soaps can be found in archaeological cosmetics as well as in oil paintings, as product of interactions of lead salts with oil. In this context, a better understanding of the formation of lead soaps allows a follow-up of the historical evolution of preparation recipes and provides new insights into conservation conditions. First, ancient recipes of both pharmaceutical lead plasters and painting lead mediums, mixtures of oil and lead salts, were reconstructed. The ester saponification by lead salts is determined by the preparation parameters which were quantified by FT-IR spectrometry. In particular, ATR/FT-IR spectrometer was calibrated by the standard addition method to quantitatively follow the kinetics of this reaction. The influence of different parameters such as temperature, presence of water and choice of lead salts was assessed: the saponification is clearly accelerated by water and heating. This analysis provides chemical explanations to the historical evolution of cosmetic and painting preparation recipes.
Article
Two major triterpenoid saponins, named saponariosides A and B, were isolated from the whole plants of Saponaria officinalis and were respectively defined to be 3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-(1-->2)-[beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->3)]-be ta-D-glucuronopyranosyl quillaic acid 28-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->3)-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->4)-alpha- L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-[beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->3)-beta-D-4-O-ac etylquinovopyranosyl-(1-->4)]-beta-D-fucopyranoside (1); 3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-(1-->2)-[beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->3)]-be ta-D-glucuronopyranosyl quillaic acid 28-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->3)-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->4)-alpha- L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->2)-[beta-D-4-O-acetylquinovopyranosyl-(1-->4)] -beta-D-fucopyranoside (2). Their structures were established on the basis of extensive NMR (DEPT, DQF-COSY, HOHAHA, HETCOR, HMBC, and NOESY) and MS studies as well as chemical degradation.
Article
The fruits (dates) of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) contain a high percentage of carbohydrate (total sugars, 44-88%), fat (0.2-0.5%), 15 salts and minerals, protein (2.3-5.6%), vitamins and a high percentage of dietary fibre (6.4-11.5%). The flesh of dates contains 0.2-0.5% oil, whereas the seed contains 7.7-9.7% oil. The weight of the seed is 5.6-14.2% of the date. The fatty acids occur in both flesh and seed as a range of saturated and unsaturated acids, the seeds containing 14 types of fatty acids, but only eight of these fatty acids occur in very low concentration in the flesh. Unsaturated fatty acids include palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids. The oleic acid content of the seeds varies from 41.1 to 58.8%, which suggests that the seeds of date could be used as a source of oleic acid. There are at least 15 minerals in dates. The percentage of each mineral in dried dates varies from 0.1 to 916 mg/100 g date depending on the type of mineral. In many varieties, potassium can be found at a concentration as high as 0.9% in the flesh while it is as high as 0.5% in some seeds. Other minerals and salts that are found in various proportions include boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium and zinc. Additionally, the seeds contain aluminum, cadmium, chloride, lead and sulphur in various proportions. Dates contain elemental fluorine that is useful in protecting teeth against decay. Selenium, another element believed to help prevent cancer and important in immune function, is also found in dates. The protein in dates contains 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas. Dates contain at least six vitamins including a small amount of vitamin C, and vitamins B(1) thiamine, B(2) riboflavin, nicotinic acid (niacin) and vitamin A. The dietary fibre of 14 varieties of dates has been shown to be as high as 6.4-11.5% depending on variety and degree of ripeness. Dates contain 0.5-3.9% pectin, which may have important health benefits. The world production of dates has increased 2.9 times over 40 years, whereas the world population has doubled. The total world export of dates increased by 1.71% over 40 years. In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.
Laundry Detergents, 1. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry
  • E Smulders
  • W Rybinski
  • A Nordskog
Smulders, E.; Rybinski, W.; Nordskog, A. Laundry Detergents, 1. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Vol. 20; Wiley-VCH, 2011; pp 355-391.
  • F D Snell
  • Soap
Snell, F. D. Soap and Glycerol. J. Chem. Educ. 1942, 19, 172-180.
Occurance and Characterization of Oils and Fats. The Lipid Handbook
  • F D Gunstone
  • J L Harwood
Gunstone, F. D.; Harwood, J. L. Occurance and Characterization of Oils and Fats. The Lipid Handbook;
A Text-Book of Experimental Chemistry for Students of General Inorganic Chemistry;P. Blakiston’s Son & Co
  • E Lee
Lee, E. A Text-Book of Experimental Chemistry for Students of General Inorganic Chemistry; P. Blakiston's Son & Co.: Philadelphia, PA, 1908; pp 263-264.
Remedies for Diseases of the Tonsillary Glands, and for Scrofula. The Natural History
  • Pliny The Elder
  • J Bostock
  • H T Riley
Pliny the Elder; Bostock, J., trans.; Riley, H. T., trans., Remedies for Diseases of the Tonsillary Glands, and for Scrofula. The Natural History; Taylor and Francis: London, 1855; Book XXVIII, Chapter 51.
The Oldest Soap in History
  • M Levey
Levey, M. The Oldest Soap in History. Soap Chem. Spec. 1957, 33, 53-54, 143-145.
Remedies for Diseases of the Tonsillary Glands, and for Scrofula. The Natural History; Taylor and Francis: London, 1855; Book XXVIII
  • J Bostock
  • H T Riley
Bostock, J., trans.; Riley, H. T., trans., Remedies for Diseases of the Tonsillary Glands, and for Scrofula. The Natural History; Taylor and Francis: London, 1855; Book XXVIII, Chapter 51.
  • J J Finkelstein
  • Mesopotamia
Finkelstein, J. J. Mesopotamia. J. Near East Stud. 1962, XXI, 73-92.
The Book Before Printing: Ancient, Medieval and Oriental
  • D Diringer
Diringer, D. The Book Before Printing: Ancient, Medieval and Oriental;
Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia
  • M Levey
Levey, M. Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia;
Sumerian Religious Texts; Crozer Theological Seminary
  • E Chiera
Chiera, E. Sumerian Religious Texts;
The Epic of Gilgamesh; Penguin Books: London
  • A George
George, A. (trans.) The Epic of Gilgamesh; Penguin Books: London, 2003; p 24.
Blanchissage au Savon a l'Epoque des Rois d'Ur
  • H De Genouillac
  • Le
de Genouillac, H. Le Blanchissage au Savon a l'Epoque des Rois d'Ur. Rev. Assyriol. Archeol. Orient. 1910, 7, 113-114.
Assyrian Medical Texts from the Originals in the British Museum
  • R C Thompson
Thompson, R. C. Assyrian Medical Texts from the Originals in the British Museum; Oxford University Press: London, 1923.
Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians
  • J G Wilkinson
Wilkinson, J. G. Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, Vol. II; Birch, S., Ed.; John Murray: London, 1878; pp 48-49.
Der grosse medizinische Papyrus des Berliner Museums, (Pap. Berl. 3038) in Facsimile und Umschrift mit Ubersetzung Kommentar und Glossar
  • W Wreszinski
Wreszinski, W. Der grosse medizinische Papyrus des Berliner Museums, (Pap. Berl. 3038) in Facsimile und Umschrift mit Ubersetzung Kommentar und Glossar;
  • M Cotte
  • E Checroun
  • J Susini
  • P Dumas
  • P Tchoreloff
  • M Besnard
  • P Walter
Cotte, M.; Checroun, E.; Susini, J.; Dumas, P.; Tchoreloff, P.; Besnard, M.; Walter, P. Talanta 2006, 70, 1136-1142.