Paleolithic Paint

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Science  18 Sep 1959:
Vol. 130, Issue 3377, pp. 708
DOI: 10.1126/science.130.3377.708


Discovery of hematite and kaolinite in excavations of late paleolithic occupation sites at Les Eyzies (Dordogne), France, raises anew the question of the nature of the paint used by paleolithic people. Hematite as a pigment source is widely documented, but the presence of kaolinite imported into prehistoric sites poses problems. The suggestion is made that white clay might have been used as an "extender pigment" to mix with colors such as that derived from hematite.