Write4U Post #36
From one of my files. Hope this helps. There is to much to post so this is a sample.
I[size=1]nternet search data from many sites.
The clay used to produce red ochre is thought to be the “red earth” from which the Hebrew’s God created Adam in the Book of Genesis. In fact, the name “Adam,” meaning “man,” is related to the Hebrew word for “red,” or “adom.” Red ochre can be found in great quantities in the mountains rimming the river basin where archaeologists place the biblical Garden of Eden, now in modern day Iraq.
Ochre was one of the first pigments to be used by human beings. Pieces of haematite, worn down as though they had been used as crayons, have been found at 300,000 year old Homo heidelbergensis sites in France and Czechoslovakia. Neanderthal burial sites sometimes include ochre as a grave good. The oldest evidence of mining activity, at the “Lion Cave” in Swaziland, is a 43,000 year old ochre mine. In Germanic rune lore, red ochre was often used in place of blood to redden, or tint, the runes and thereby instilling the spirit of life into the rune, enabling it to be used for magical purposes.
The earliest undisputed human burial dates back 130,000 years. Human skeletal remains stained with red ochre were discovered in the Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel. A variety of grave goods were present at the site, including the mandible of a wild boar in the arms of one of the skeletons.
According to Sally McBrearty of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, for example, ocher processing at Qafzeh adds to evidence of “the very great antiquity of the color red as a symbolic category.” Engraved ocher dates to 77,000 years ago in South Africa.
The Red Ocher culture is found in western Ohio and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Red Ocher burials also were placed on natural hills or high spots.
West Coast of the United States
The use of red ocher appears to have been a part of the burial customs here as well. In southern California, graves dating from 6000 to 1000 BC have been found.
Red ocher burial
Found: Mungo National Park, Australia
Dated: about 60,000 years ago
Mesoamerican and Andean center where products from the Maya area and lower Central America were exchanged. Although the spectacular ruins seen today date from the Classic Period (300-900 A.D.), the earliest settlement at the site dates to about 900 B.C. Slightly before that time, about 1000 B.C., the Talgua cave ossuary was already being used for burial rituals that included elements possibly borrowed from the Maya area over two hundred miles west. All the bones had been painted red, and a red mineral pigment was sprinkled on the ground below the bones. The use of the red pigment, which was used so liberally that it stains many sections of the cave wall, is unique among the few Honduran cave ossuaries that are known. The pigment was identified as red ocher.[/size]