Literature Review to Identify Biological Sources Used to Produce Organic Colorants in China
A review of published literature was undertaken to determine the biological sources used to produce the organic colorants in the Mogao Grottoes wall paintings. Over six hundred abstracts were screened and from these over three hundred relevant papers and books were reviewed.
One hundred fifteen different biological sources were identified. Based on the frequency of independent citations, twenty-four biological sources were selected for study. Most of these twenty-four sources were identified at the species level. For those cited only at the genus level, species were selected that were most likely to be available in the region based on botanical references and on discussions with a botanist at Beijing University.
In addition to biological sources and recipe data, painting techniques and historical context were collected. The core literature will be available online as a GCI Project Bibliography.
Table of Biological Sources
Page updated: January 2011