Dental calculus was collected from the dentition of Dalheim individual B78, as previously described (16). Because individual calculus pieces were pooled from multiple teeth before analysis, it is not possible to determine which specific teeth harbored dental calculus containing blue particles. However, nearly all of B78’s dental calculus was concentrated on the anterior teeth (fig. S2), with very little calculus present on the molars (16), and thus, the blue particles likely originated near the lips. Comparative reference pigments were obtained from Rublev Colours by Natural Pigments LLC (RC) and Kremer Pigments Inc. (KP): lapis lazuli, Afghanistan (RC, 410-15); lapis lazuli, Chile (KP, 10550); ultramarine ash (RC, 410-14); azurite (RC, 410-10); malachite (RC, 420-20); Egyptian blue (KP, 10060); smalt (RC, 417-14); royal smalt (RC, 417-13); and vivianite (RC, 410-20). Initial decalcification was performed on 25.2 mg of dental calculus using 0.05 M HCl at 4°C, but this was found to result in color loss of the blue particles (fig. S3), as well as reference pigments (fig. S4). Further tests on reference pigments also indicated minor color alterations in 0.1 M EDTA but not in saliva or ultrapure water (fig. S4). An alternative method for the isolation of blue particles from dental calculus using sonication in ultrapure water was tested and found to result in minimal particle alteration. All further optical, elemental, and spectrographic analyses were performed on particles obtained by this method.

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