The investigation of physical properties and chemical composition generates data important for answering cultural-historical questions that cannot be solved by historical and philological methods alone. Due to technological developments, technical diagnostics in art and culture are in ever-greater demand in such fields of transdisciplinary research. Natural sciences play auxiliary role in the studies of manuscripts. The success of their contribution depends strongly on the formulation of the question, the choice of the methods to obtain the requested answer, and appropriate reference databases. First, report was given on the measurements performed on local raw materials, such as, plants, minerals and animals, which constitute the reference session. Then, the first results of the scientific analysis of several fragments from the Malian manuscript collections were present.
Key words: Manuscripts, inks, colorants, scientific investigation, non-destructive testing.
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