Stone Age Scots Were Dab Hands with a Paint Pot

Daily Mail (London), October 30, 2010 | Go to article overview

Stone Age Scots Were Dab Hands with a Paint Pot


Byline: Julie-Anne Barnes

IT is a modern phenomenon that has inspired dozens of make-over TV shows.

But now archaeologists have found that Scotland's ancient inhabitants also enjoyed a spot of DIY, painting and decorating.

They have unearthed evidence in Orkney that shows our ancestors from 5,000 years ago painted the insides of their Stone Age homes to brighten the place up.

Their discovery of the Neolithic village consisting of 15 small dwellings was first made at Brodgar on Orkney in the 1980s.

But now, several stones used to form the buildings have been found to have been painted and decorated by the locals in about 3,000BC. They also painted designs like chevrons and zig-zags on their interiors.

They used red, yellow and orange pigments from ground-up minerals and bound it with animal fat and eggs to make their paint, the new research has found.

Experts believe it is the earliest ever example of man using paint to decorate their properties in Britain, if not in Europe.

Nick Card, of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology, said: 'This is an exceptional discovery. We have found seven stones in this ritual centre. Some of them were covered in paint. …

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