Ness colour inspires new Neolithic research project

One of the "painted" stones from the Ness of Brodgar, showing the use of red and yellow pigment. (ORCA)
One of the “painted” stones from the Ness of Brodgar, showing the use of red and yellow pigment. (đź“· ORCA)
An example of one of the coloured pot sherds from the Ness of Brodgar - note the red area. (ORCA)
An example of one of the coloured pot sherds from the Ness of Brodgar – note the red area. (đź“· ORCA)

A research project inspired by the use of coloured pigment at the Ness of Brodgar has secured funding from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Colouring the Neolithic: Searching for Pigments in Scotland’s Prehistoric Rock Art seeks to “revolutionise our understanding” of prehistoric Scotland by searching for evidence that Neolithic rock art was not always plain stone.

In Iberia, some rock art was coloured and carved at the same time, suggesting this was a geographically widespread practice that remains largely unexplored.   

Not only has the Ness of Brodgar produced coloured walls and pottery but “paint pots” and evidence of the minerals used to create the pigments, e.g., haematite

Dr Joana Valdez-Tullett, of Wessex Archaeology, and Dr Louisa Campbell, of the University of Glasgow, will use rock art examples curated in Scottish museums to develop a pioneering approach to search for traces of these 5,000-year-old pigments.

You may also like...