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Part of an Iron Age clay wall from Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Archaeologists in Saxony-Anhalt have discovered a 2,600-year-old wall painted in bright patterns. It reveals that Iron Age houses were not the drab constructions they were once thought to be. The State Museum for Prehistory in the eastern German city of Halle put part of the prehistoric clay wall on display on Monday. The wall was apparently part of a sprawling, Iron Age human settlement. “We know now that prehistoric times were not grey but rather that prehistoric houses were colourfully painted,” Saxony-Anhalt state archaeologist, Harald Meller, said. It was the greatest Iron Age wall painting discovered north of the Alps, he said.

The dominant colours are red, beige and white. For pigments, the prehistoric painters used substances such as iron oxide, which gives the reddish, ochre colour. The design shows typical ornamental patterns from the Iron Age such as triangles and S-shaped hooks, but also symbolic characters.

Full article here.

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