The Earliest Pigment
Red ochre has been a part of human history for over hundreds of thousands of years. Though the original uses are unknown, the first use of ochre as a pigment can be dated back 400,000 years, where worn stones were found. This may suggest use as a drawing tool, or grinding for use in “paint”. Composed mainly of iron oxide, red ochre can be safely mixed with other pigments. Ochres vary widely in transparency; some are quite opaque, while others are valued for their use as glazes. The most famous use may be for its use in cave paintings during the Stone Age.
Origin: Natural earth
Pieces of ochre engraved with abstract markings have been found at the site of the Blombos Cave in South Africa, dating to ~75,000 years ago.
Credits: Buffalo - QING LI, from The Noun Project