What paints were made of in ancient times

In the countries of the Ancient World, paints of mineral and animal origin were used. An example of mineral paints is red and yellow ocher, which was obtained from iron oxide and was widely used in Egypt. Blue dyes were made there from blue copper carbonate, as well as from artificial frit by calcining a compound of silica, malachite, calcium carbonate and soda.

In Mesopotamia, the green yar-copper and blue lapis lazuli, obtained from copper oxides, were used, as well as black paint made from soot, crushed charcoal or black manganese ore. The famous purple dye was obtained from a special marine clam (purple snail), and the carmine red cochineal dye was obtained from insects that parasitize trees and grasses.

Other sources of dyes also existed to produce red tones, such as henna or alkane perennial roots. Blue dye was mainly obtained from indigo plants. Compounds of different dyes were also multivariate. So, green paint was obtained by mixing indigo with yellow paint, and black - by imposing red paint on blue.