Old cold cream

A pot of 2000-year old white cream unearthed during an archeological dig in London had scientists turning pale as to what it might be. But, now chemists have analyzed the cream and replicated it in the laboratory. They showed that the cream dating from around 150 AD was simply a high-class cosmetic used by the Roman aristocracy as the equivalent of a modern foundation cream to change the tone of the skin. It is rare to find preserved organic material in a closed container, explains team leader Richard Evershed of Bristol University. He adds that his team could characterize and quantify the diverse chemical components allowing them to reproduce the cream.