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Paleolithic milk-based paint found on stone tool

Researchers studying residue found on a 49,000-year-old stone tool have discovered a paint made from milk and ochre. While the use of ochre by early humans dates to at least 250,000 years ago in Europe and Africa, this is the first time a paint containing ochre and milk has ever been

Recipe for Maya blue paint deciphered

A group of chemists believe they have finally cracked the recipe of the incredibly durable blue paint the Maya used. Scientists have long known the two chief ingredients of the intense blue pigment: indigo, a plant dye that's used today to color denim; and palygorskite, a type of clay. But how

100,000-year-old painters kits found

100,000-year-old kits using to process ochre into paint have been found in South Africa. In this study, Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway and his colleagues report two ochre-processing "toolkits" at Blombos, dated to 100,000 years ago with a technique called optically stimulated luminescence, which measures how long

Iron Age houses weren’t drab

A painted wall which dates back 2,600 years shows that Iron Age houses were decorated in bright patterns. The dominant colours are red, beige and white. For pigments, the prehistoric painters used substances such as iron oxide, which gives the reddish, ochre colour. The design shows typical ornamental patterns from the

Spots in King Tut’s tomb caused by microbes

Mysterious spots found on the walls of King Tutankhamun's tomb are due to microbes, new research has shown. "King Tutankhamen died young, and we think that the tomb was prepared in a hurry," Mitchell said. "We're guessing that the painted wall was not dry when the tomb was sealed." The moisture from

Stone Age homes were painted

Red, yellow and orange pigments have been found on 5,000-year-old Stone Age homes on Orkney. It is the earliest ever example of man using paint to decorate their properties in Britain, if not in Europe. Until now experts believed that it was the Romans who were the first to introduce

Neolithic painted stones found in Scotland

Stones painted during the Neolithic period have been found on the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The latest discovery, made late yesterday afternoon, is a stone with a zigzag chevron pattern in red pigment. It is thought the painted and decorated stones may have been used to enhance important buildings and