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Ancients seemed to have problems seeing or recognizing the color blue.

Investigating the Invisible Color that Ancient People Couldn’t See

We have all been told to be ‘careful what we wish for’ or that we ‘only see what we look for’ and maybe some of you have had past partners who claimed that you ‘took them for granted and made them...
‘The Slave Market’ (1886) by Gustave Boulanger.

Skin Color Didn’t Matter to the Ancient Greeks and Romans

The term “racism” refers to a phenomenon of group hatred or bigotry based on ethnic and cultural prejudice. In the United States, the term is most often heard in conjunction with the descriptors “...
Prehistoric skeleton buried adorned with copper alloy goods.

Experimental Color Chart Reveals the Original Beauty of Prehistoric Copper Goods

An international team of Serbian and UK researchers claim to have developed a Cu-As-Sn (Copper-Arsenic-Tin) color ternary diagram, which will help scientists to uncover the original colors of ancient...
Detail of portrait from 1807 showing a young man in ‘sunglasses.’

Sunglasses: A History of Protective, Stylish, and Popular Eyewear

I never leave my house without a pair of sunglasses. Usually, there are also pairs in my purse, in my car, and in a coat that I keep in the trunk. In fact, I am both proud and ashamed to admit that I...
Dramatic mask with tusks and feathers, Ninghai, Zhejiang, China

Ferocious Beast-Head Masks, Heavy Robes & Swirling Colors: What are the Unspoken Messages in Ancient Chinese Opera?

In “Civilization of China” (1911), Herbert Giles wrote that “for pleasure pure and simple, independent of gains and losses, the theater occupies the warmest place in every Chinaman's heart”. The fact...
A Jewish prayer shawl adorned with ritual tassels that contain tekhelet-dyed threads.

Piece of Ancient Fabric Revealed True Source of Biblical Blue Dye Lost for 1,300 Years

An ancient blue dye, known as tekhelet, once adorned the precious robes of kings, priests, and high-ranking Jews. But around two millennia ago, this highly-valued commodity became lost to the pages...
This statue was originally painted. Left: Painted replica of Augustus of Prima Porta statue with pigments reconstructed for the Tarraco Viva 2014 Festival

A More Colorful Ancient Greece: Pigment Proves Classical Statues Were Once Painted

Once upon a time, long before wars, natural disasters and erosion took hold of the ancient Greek statues, these ivory gems vibrated with color. Ancient Greek sculptors valued animated and pulsating...
Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Cleopatra’ (1963).

A Brief History of the Enduring Iconic Female Phenomenon of Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a modern-day symbol of sex appeal and an attribute of femininity. Many modern women may be surprised by the fact that our recent generations are not the ones which invented this...
Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Throughout history, the rich and powerful have attempted to control access to items considered luxurious or status symbols. Today, this is done through marketing and price setting (a prominent...
Fermented Urine Dye Discovered in One of the Oldest Illuminated Manuscripts

Fermented Urine Dye Discovered in One of the Oldest Illuminated Manuscripts

A mixture of urine and weeds has been discovered in the dye used on the stunning 1,500-year-old Byzantine text known as the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis, one of the oldest surviving illuminated...
New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an...
Holi kele nanda lala

The Mythological Origins of Holi: Ancient and Colorful Festival of South Asia

Holi is an ancient festival celebrated on the day after the last full moon of Phalguna, the last month of the Hindu calendar (between late February and early March). Traditionally, this was a major...
People

Why Judging a Person by Their Skin Colour Defies Logic

For centuries, mankind has been obsessed with the colour of skin. This obsession has resulted in people taking radical steps to alter their own skin colour, risking serious harm for the sake of ‘...