raddle (also called ruddle, red ocher
or bole: a moderate reddish brown)
In 2001, Henshilwood found a 70,000-year-old polished red ocher
mudstone with a geometric design (simple crosshatchings framed by two parallel lines with a third line down the middle) carved into the surface, the oldest known example of a complex design produced by a human.
The images, etched in red ocher
, turned what started as merely a pleasant Great Lakes paddling trip into an amateur archaeological expedition.
The red ocher
walls and mustard yellow trim of Elin Vanderlip's Villa Narcissa seem as Italian as chianti and spaghetti.
McCrone discovered that the "blood" was actually tempera paint containing red ocher
and vermilion pigments.
With X-ray diffraction and a scanning electron microscope, the pigment was identified as red ocher
consisting of a number of iron oxides including hematite.
The yellow ocher and red ocher
of the buildings fits very well and the land even tolerates castles on the hilltops.
Each toolkit consisted of several stone tools, some stained with red ocher
, lying above and below an abalone shell partly coated with a red mixture.
For these visits, called alamal, both men and women adorned themselves with their finest jewelry, wore new clothing, and decorated their faces and bodies with red ocher
. The male visitors at alamal arrived in long processional lines, singing and carrying walking sticks, which are symbols of peace.
One of the graves, at Russia's 24,000-year-old Sunghir site, contains a boy and a girl buried head to head, dusted in red ocher
, and ornamented with thousands of ivory beads, fox-teeth pendants, and pierced antlers.
A simpler explanation for ancient humans' use of red ocher
might be cosmetics, much as in modern mortuary practice ("Stone Age Code Red: Scarlet symbols emerge in Israeli Cave," SN: 11/1/03, p.
Investigators now say that red ocher
found in Qafzeh Cave's oldest sections supports the controversial theory that symbolic thinking, a hallmark of modern-day human thought, arose deep in the Stone Age.