Comparative Guts

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Red-figured terracotta stamnos

Vessel for storing liquids, attributed to the Eucharides Painter, early 5th century BCE, with two figures preparing a bull for sacrifice. When slaughtered, iron ions derived from the haemoglobin in the animal’s blood would interact with fats and oils to form volatile aldehydes and ketones, like Oct-1-en-3-one, typical sources for the “metallic” scent associated with blood.
Musée du Louvre, Paris, Cp 10754. © 2013 RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle.