Even Stone Age homes were painted

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 31, 2010 09:10 hrs

London, Oct 31 (IANS) Our ancestors 5,000 years ago brightened up their Stone Age homes by painting the insides, according to new archaeological evidence.

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

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

Until now experts believed that it was the Romans who were the first to introduce paint to decorate houses to Britain 3,000 years later, reports the Daily Mail.

Archaeologists made the discovery at the site of a Stone Age settlement on the island of Orkney. A neolithic village consisting of 15 small dwellings was first discovered at Brodgar on Orkney in the 1980s in Britain.

Then last year archaeologists dug up a number of nearby temples that the inhabitants would have worshipped in.

Several stones used to form the buildings have now been found to have been painted and decorated by the locals in about 3,000 BC.

It is thought this was actually done to enhance important buildings and may have been found in entranceways or areas of the building which had particular significance.

Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology said: 'This is a quite exceptional discovery.'

'We have found seven stones in this ritual centre. Some of them were covered in paint and others appear to have had designs such as chevrons and zig zags painted on.'

'When you think of the neolithic period you think of a grey, monochrome world. But we have suspected that colour was a part of their world.'