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Pompeii fresco colours altered by Vesuvius

New research has revealed that the famous red colour found on Pompeii frescoes were actually yellow before gases from Mount Vesuvius altered them. Sergio Omarini, who presented the institute's findings, said: ''At the moment, there are 246 walls perceived as red, and 57 as yellow. But based on the new research,

The true colours of fossilized beetles revealed

A new study has revealed that the metallic rainbow sheen that is the mark of a fossilized beetle actually becomes redder over time. To reveal the insects' true colors, Yale University postdoctoral researcher Maria McNamara and her colleagues took tiny samples from beetle fossils dating back 15 million to 47 million

The history of pink for girls and blue for boys

Smithsonian Magazine has posted an interesting article about the history of gender colours. The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just

Microbes bring ancient rock art to life

An analysis of ancient rock art in Western Australia has shown that its vivid colours have kept for 40,000 years because it is alive with microbes. While some rock art fades in hundreds of years, the "Bradshaw art" remains colourful after at least 40,000 years. Jack Pettigrew of the University of Queensland

X-Rays reveal secrets of Mayan dyes

An x-ray study of Mayan pigments has helped scientists create a dye that will last for a millennia. "This pigment has been stable for centuries in the hostile conditions of the jungle," said Eric Dooryhee at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. "We're trying to mimic it to