Attapulgite and Maya Blue: An Ancient Mine Comes to Light
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This article is a description of the mine in the cenote in Sacalum, Yucatán that was a significant source of attapulgite (now called palygorskite) used in the creation of Maya Blue. Resulting from mining a one meter deposit of the mineral, the size of the mine indicated that prior to 1968 (when these measurements were made), the Maya had removed 305 cubic meters of palygorksite for medicinal purposes and for the creation of Maya Blue. If the collapsed area in front of the mine is added to the footprint of the mine and multiplied by the thickness of the mined deposit of palygorskite seen within the mine, then the Maya have removed a total of 589 cubic meters of palygorskite. The mine, the collapsed area, and the amount of palygorskite removed indicates that this source was a major source of the mineral used to make the pigment, and is probably many centuries old.
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Arnold, Dean E., "Attapulgite and Maya Blue: An Ancient Mine Comes to Light" (1975). KIP Articles. 498.