Tuesday, January 12, 2010
For thousands of years people have loved the idea of using something on their face or body to make a statement of love, war, joy, or to just enhance their beauty. We know that cosmetics were used by the Ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC. In the Old Testament— Ezekiel 23:40 it says, “… and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, painted your eyes and put on your jewelry.”
Turns out it goes back much farther!
Scientists have found shells in two archaeological sites in the Murcia, a province of southern Spain, containing pigment residues. They feel these were actually Neanderthal make-up containers for face and body painting. They were found by Professor Joao Zilhao who reports were used to mix and preserve pigments. They found lumps of yellow paint, which may have been used as foundation, and red powder, which may have been applied as blush.
And guess what else was on those shells?
According to Professor Zilhao, "Glitter makeup, or shimmer makeup ... where you, over a foundation, you add shiny bits of something granular that shines and reflects. When light would shine on you, you'd reflect."
The findings were reported at proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The shells date from about 50,000 years ago, 10,000 years before modern humans showed up in Europe where it is thought they got "smarter." The scientists said its finding should make us doubt "the view of Neanderthals as half-wits" and shows they were capable of symbolic thinking.
Symbolic thinking is a process of imagining something, a meaning, from symbols. It is often archaeologically linked to painting of many types. For instance Ochre-painted bones were unearthed in one of the caves in Israel dating back 100,000 years. The link to painting led archaeologists to date the actual birth of symbolic thinking to at least 100,000 years.
Fun know that as face and body painters we are symbols of creative thinking that go back a very long time!
For more on this professional face painter's tips on face and body painting and face painting class