Alexandrian chemical workshop, 1st century AD.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Diorama providing a conjectural representation of the conditions under which chemical craftsmen might have worked in Egypt in about the first century AD. The construction is based on archaeological remains and on manuscripts of this period. Glas, pottery, papyrus rolls and ink, pigments for wall paints, cement for tiles, iron for tools and silver for coins are all illustrated in this view. An asayer can be seen using a hand balance by the workshop's furnace. Refining and testing precious metals had been practised since Babylonian times. At the back is a dye vat.