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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Nineteenth-Century Periodic Table Found in Scotland

Friday, January 18, 2019

Scotland periodic tableFIFE, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that a historic lithograph of the periodic table was found in a storage area at St. Andrews University, rolled up with other large-scale charts. The late nineteenth-century teaching tool, printed in Vienna and annotated in German, is thought to be the oldest surviving example of a classroom-sized periodic table. The information included in the table helped Eric Scerri of the University of California, Los Angeles, to date the document to between 1879 and 1886. Scerri explained that the elements gallium, discovered in 1875, and scandium, discovered in 1879, are included on the classroom table, but the element germanium, discovered in 1886, is not. The fragile, brittle document has been conserved. To read about study of the Roman site of Carnuntum, east of Vienna, go to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

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