Forensic photography used to determine color of ancient textiles

Archaeologists at the Ohio State University are using crime scene techniques to try to determine the color of ancient fabrics. Forensic photography can use ultraviolet and infrared light to look for stains or fingerprints. In this case, they are seeking the original colors of prehistoric Indian fabrics.

"Art museums use it to see if a painting has been painted over, if it's a forgery, and so on," said Christel Baldia, Ohio State University doctoral graduate in textiles and clothing. "We thought: 'why aren't we doing this with ancient textiles?' Just like other art, fabrics are dyed and painted, and this is an inexpensive way to gather important information."

The research has been published in the April, 2007 issue of Journal of Archaeological Science.