The A to Z Challenge – P for Prehistoric Pigment #atozchallenge

It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!

For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.

Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.


PToday’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter P~ Prehistoric Pigment

If you’ve been here before you might have guessed that I’m a fairly curious person.  I’m the person who thinks the best vacations come with a factory tour (!!). Learning what things are, how they work, where they came from and why, is manna to my natural curiosity. Impetus and original spark fascinate me as well. What was the idea, the spark, the desired outcome that inspired someone to create, invent, design, etc? Take painted art for example.

The oldest human artworks found thus far consist of scratched lines on rock and bone. Of course we have no way of knowing if those lines were an artistic expression of the artist’s thoughts and feelings, as all art as we know it is. The lines and scratches may have been utilitarian in nature– marking boundaries or ownership, or marking a place of resources. We just don’t know. At some point, however, man discovered mineral pigments and went to a whole new level –creating art for aesthetic purposes, that is, creating with the idea of beauty.

“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”
~Oscar Wilde

elcastilloThe first paints

The earliest pigment used by man was ochre (pronounce Oak-er), a form of iron oxide. The mineral is found in natural deposits around the world and comes in a range of colors– browns, reds, oranges, and yellows. All told, there are sixteen known iron oxides and people have been using them for a very long time. One of the oldest discoveries so far is ochre pigment grinding equipment believed to be between 350,000 to 400,000 years old. It was found in a cave near Lusaka, Zambia.

Wherever  prehistoric art sites have been discovered, somewhere in the general vicinity, man mined for his mineral pigments.  Evidence suggests the pigments used in the Lascaux cave paintings were dug 25 miles away. That just shows how important ochre was prehistoric to man. With it he colored everything from rock art murals, pottery, the dead, and tattoos.

The best guesses for prehistoric painting processes and altamira-bison-headtechniques come from the clues left in caves. Natural stone hollows and animal bones and shoulder blades show traces of ochre processing. The ochre was ground to a powder then mixed into a paste with various binders such as water, plant juices, urine, animal fats, bone marrow, and blood, and egg albumen. This was applied to the stone walls by smearing and dabbing and spraying (the artist spit paint through hollow bones). 


Ochre is often associated with prehistoric burials. Human remains 95,000 years old were discovered in a cave at Qafzeh, Israel and they were intentionally stained with red ochre. But that’s a post for another day.

A Brief History of Pigment

An interesting take on red ochre

History of Art

Take the virtual tour of Lascaux.

Then stop at Chauvet cave.

For $2.99 watch The Cave of Forgotten Dreams on youtube
It’ll blow your mind.

Tomorrow ~ letter Q!

My Other Weekend Happenings~

Weekend Writing Warriors

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

My Sexy Saturday

Snippet Sunday
**A promo op for you too!**


DianneVenetta_AIB-Logo_2015-250x250TODAY~ Join me on my satellite blog
Authors’ lives outside of the books we write are often as interesting as the worlds we create. One of the more unusual things my husband and I have done was lead wild foods programs for Chicago’s Field Museum. For this 10-day event I’ll be sharing my recipes. I hope you stop by. There are lots of prizes and you might have delicious and useful ingredients waiting in your backyard. 🙂


RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long.

Romance Books ‘4’ Us

check out our promo services.
And…Our April contest is on. We have prizes!


Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and free b1e43-eqpicpromo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!


Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!




About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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