casa Montero
Casa Montero CSIC CCHs

Dispersed fragments of red pigment were found in quite a number of shafts. In fact, many pieces of flint, quartzite and bone industry had red surfaces. The largest lump of pigment (2.05 kg) was found in an amorphous pit, that appeared to have nothing to do with mining activity, in the western sector of the site. The analysis of some of these pigments has revealed the presence ochre (the most common) and cinnabar (clearly of extra-regional origin). Cinnabar, commonly known as vermilion, is a sulphate of mercury. It was probably an infrequent item of long-distance exchange from the 6th millennium BC onward. These pigments have colouring properties, but they are also abrasive. Cinnabar also has antiseptic and preservative properties.

A lump of ochre
Photo: The Casa Montero Team
Image 1 of 1
2011 @ CSIC Contact: Optimized for 1024x728