Conference PaperPDF Available

DEVELOPMENT OF PIGMENTS AND COLOR USE IN PREHISTORIC TIMES

Conference Paper

DEVELOPMENT OF PIGMENTS AND COLOR USE IN PREHISTORIC TIMES

Abstract

Traditionally it is assumed, that the observed diversity of pigments in prehistoric times depended on our ancestors’ knowledge on locating sources of raw materials. The application of basic colours very often was associated only with certain ritual activities, simple life style and limited basic needs. Probably it could be attributed to particular prehistoric cultures and to a limited period of time. Our study demonstrates that the general trend is related to the evolution of colour vision and possibilities of humans to distinguish the variety of pigmentation. These are not simple skills or the gifts of nature. By the development of abstract thinking, the demand for diversity of colours rose rapidly and simple colour tones were supplemented with different shades, various intensities, the images became polychromatic and multilayered. Before commencing the painting, the surface was evened and background colour layer was applied. The paintings were made applying different pigments. In this context the necessity to locate raw material sources for variable pigments or to process them artificially is likely a consequence of the necessity for particular result rather than a simple motivation.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... The mineral and chemical composition of samples was established using macroscopic evaluation and photodocumentation to schematise the formation circumstances and colour nuances of the samples allowing to interpret their formation model. Such models are important not only in sedimentology, but also in geoarchaeology, where secondary changes of rocks are essential when choosing monument restoration strategy [1]. Two samples of limonite from the collection (collection No. LU/2656) of the Museum of Geology of the University of Latvia were selected for detailed research. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The formation conditions of limonite, often iron-oxide and hydroxide containing mineraloids can be related to the crystallisation process of iron oxides minerals in weathering crust sedimentation. Iron oxides (goethite, hematite) and their various admixtures form lithification compounds. The research involved the analysis of limonite concretions and their thin sections, composition analysis and interpreting the conditions of formation. Thin sections were examined by the difference in the formation of limonite ageing, colour, interpreting composition and colour range of tones depending on available chemical elements during their formation process, as well as granular composition. Two limonite formation models were interpreted – surface crust formation on top of other mineral aggregate (by evaporating mineral water solution), as well as the formation of limonite in the process of alluvial deposit. It was concluded, that the variation of the limonite tint depends on the degree of iron oxidation state, admixture of elements, fine grain practices and the environment of the formation, including the amount of water available. The mineral composition of limonite can be homogeneous or with polyphase structure, without noticeable change in colour, at the same time, the materials of relatively uniform mineral composition can be cardinally different in colour range.
Article
Full-text available
Congenital colour vision deficiency (CVD) has a prevalence of 8% for men and 0.4% for women. Amongst people born with normal colour vision, the acquired form of CVD can also affect them at later stages of their lives due to disease or exposure to toxin. Most CVD persons have difficulties dealing with colours in everyday life and at work, but these problems are under-reported due to a lack of its awareness in the general population. This literature review seeks to present findings of studies and reports on the impact of CVD on the affected persons chronologically through different stages of their lives and their coping measures. Scientific publications and corresponding references relating to how CVD affects individuals were searched, identified and retrieved from PubMed, National University of Singapore and Cochrane electronic databases. Books that were not available electronically were manually searched. Paramedical literature was also included through online searches using Google and Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria were English-based studies pertaining to effects of CVD on everyday life and respective coping measures, including experimental, observational studies, symposium proceedings and systematic review. There was no timeframe restriction for these publications. Articles using anecdotal evidence were excluded with the exception of those used to describe the effects of CVD on play age and school age. Our literature search found 136 articles, 60 of which were used in this review based on the respective selection criteria. CVD affects many aspects of life from childhood to adulthood. The implications extend across play, sports, driving, education, occupation, discrimination, and health and safety issues. Awareness of CVD helps to identify and develop corresponding coping strategies. More work needs to be done in raising awareness of CVD and its implications, as well as implementing measures to overcome these difficulties.
Article
Full-text available
Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has identified morphological differences between the brains of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs). However, studies using endocasts or the cranium itself are limited to investigating external surface features and the overall size and shape of the brain. A complementary approach uses comparative primate data to estimate the size of internal brain areas. Previous attempts to do this have generally assumed that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization. Here, we argue that, in the case of Neanderthals and AMHs, differences in the size of the body and visual system imply differences in organization between the same-sized brains of these two taxa. We show that Neanderthals had significantly larger visual systems than contemporary AMHs (indexed by orbital volume) and that when this, along with their greater body mass, is taken into account, Neanderthals have significantly smaller adjusted endocranial capacities than contemporary AMHs. We discuss possible implications of differing brain organization in terms of social cognition, and consider these in the context of differing abilities to cope with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance.
Article
For us, the experience of reading Steve Churchill's book Thin on the Ground: Neandertal Biology, Archeology, and Ecology was like that of reading The Origin of Species for the first time. In both Churchill's and Darwin's books, the reader is led carefully and meticulously through a beautifully organized presentation of all the evidence bearing on a vexed and long-standing problem, arriving at a novel answer that resolves many issues all at once. Like Darwin, Churchill makes his case with such a wide-ranging, comprehensive, and judicious presentation that when the overall conclusion is fully laid out in the last chapter, its force is inescapable.
Article
The cave paintings and other preserved remnants of Paleolithic peoples shed light on a world little known to us, one so deeply embedded in time that information about it seems unrecoverable. While art historians have wrestled with these images and objects, very few scientists ha ve weighed in on Paleolithic art as artifacts of a complex, living society. R. Dale Guthrie is one of the first to do so, and his monumental volume The Nature of Paleolithic Art is a landmark study that will change the shape of our understanding of these marvelous images. With a natural historians keen eye for observation, and as one who has spent a lifetime using bones and other excavated materials to piece together past human behavior and environments, Guthrie demonstrates that Paleolithic art is a mode of expression we can comprehend to a remarkable degree and that the perspective of natural history is integral to that comprehension. He employs a mix of ethology, evolutionary biology, and human universals to access these distant cultures and their art and artifacts. Guthrie uses innovative forensic techniques to reveal new information; estimating, for example, the ages and sexes of some of the artists, he establishes that Paleolithic art was not just the creation of male shamans. With more than 3,000 images, The Nature of Paleolithic Art offers the most comprehensive representation of Paleolithic art ever published and a radical (and controversial) new way of interpreting it. The variety and content of these images—most of which have never been available or easily accessible to nonspecialists or even researchers —will astonish you. This wonderfully written work of natural history, of observation and evidence, tells the great story of our deepest past.
Article
The colour palette of painters over history has been of interest to many, including: art historians, archaeologists, and art lovers. Colour usage in art changes from culture to culture and season to season and is often thought of as reflecting or inspiring mood and ambience. We present ColourVis: a visualisation that supports exploration of colour usage in digital images. In particular, we use as a case study European art over the last six centuries. Visualising this relatively unexplored area offers insights into such questions as: How blue was Picasso's blue period?; How do realist painters' colour choices compare to that of surrealist painters; or How has the usage of colours changed over time? Through ColourVis we offer an exploration and comparison tool for individual paintings, groups of paintings and trends in colour usage over time.
The Polychromy of Antique and Medieval Sculpture
  • V Brinkmann
  • O Primavesi
  • M Hollein
  • Circumlitio
Brinkmann V., Primavesi O., Hollein M., Circumlitio. The Polychromy of Antique and Medieval Sculpture, University of Chicago Press, USA, pp 24-77, 2010.