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A Woman’s Work Was Sometimes Blue

Jan 09, 2019 - The New York Times

Anita Radini, an archaeologist at the University of York, in England, spends a lot of time looking at tartar. Really old tartar.

Tartar, or dental plaque — that film of bacteria that feels like sweaters on your teeth — contains a wealth of information about what long-dead individuals encountered in their daily lives. Dr. Radini has seen all sorts of things trapped in it: food particles, textile fibers, DNA, pollen, bacteria and even wings of tiny insects.

But several years ago, w...