Ancient Marble Statues Weren't Originally All White With White Skin, They Were Painted

Submitted by: fancylad 10 months ago in Entertainment Science


Because we only know ancient Roman marble statues as alabaster white, many people perceive ancient Rome filled with white people.

New technology proves that these marble statues were painted, skin and all,  and this is making some people very upset because it alters perceptions on race.
There are 30 comments:
Male 406
She's an idiot. Not for saying anything about coloration, but for implying that western civilization isn't more advanced today.

On topic: wouldn't there be visible traces on ANY of them if they really had colors? Looking at any statue from 200-3000 years ago, few that were obviously meant to have colors still have them (egyptian ones, for example) while any other I have seen had interference from the modern day? 
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Male 2,127
Fojos Depends. Sometimes, its not about "visible" traces, so much as it is about chemical traces. Scientist and scholars sometimes determine that this section should've been green, while that one should've been red, by analyzing trace amounts of chemical compounds found in the pores and cracks of the stone. As an example, titanium dioxide is usually a pretty good indication of white, as its a commonly used white pigment, while ferrous oxide would be a pretty good indication of a reddish hue. Also, there are some small amounts of visible traces on some, I'm sure, in some more "sheltered" areas of the sculpture. There is also the matter of some pigments being more "durable" than others, and the question of what was used as a "binder" to make the pigment stick to a surface.
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Female 107
Fojos Whether there were visible traces left depends on the paint. Just observe a hand painted garden gnome over the course of ten years. Though there will be traces, there may be no indication of the original hues, and some colors would be gone altogether. We can answer some of these questions just by considering what we already experience.
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Male 2,127
So, if I understand this video correctly, we are supposed to think that, because the Greeks and Romans used white marble, they were all snow-white? What idiots! They used white marble, due to availability, ease of working it, and durability. Not because of the color! Did anyone here actually think that all Greeks and Romans were "white" because of these types of statues? I certainly never have. I've always seen it for what it is: their chosen medium.
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Male 642
whosaidwhat Because there were no colored non-slave statues, we were free to picture Rome with superior piggy-pinks and black slaves. 
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Female 107
whosaidwhat I know, judging by such narrow criteria is a bit silly. Do people who read black and white comics think everything is black and white? When everything was black and white tv, did people assume the same? And what about cartoons? Ren and Stimpy was some fucked up shit, but i doubt anyone expected that from a cat or dog...and to be honest, i wasn't quite sure they were a cat and dog until someone told me......not that that matters......

But my peeve about it is that people are offended by learning the ancients did something different from what they thought. It'll always be the case. I mean, just explain that beta was better than vhs (matter of opinion, but a now ancient one.), and the people who don't have a clue what either are won't care, but those who were all happy about their four head vhs players (vs two) would still possibly be shocked that there was something perhaps better called beta, that didn't make it, due to economic issues.. which is my point...even that recent, people get  confused about various things...... and don't know that they have a lot of missing information about their own world.

What will people two thousand years from now think if they find a gameboy? (i've just dated myself) What would they think it is?

It's this weird thing people have going on where they think they must control the past, so they can stay rooted in the present, and it's bullshit. Because our own present will be obscure one day and people will have strong opinions about it, and they will be wrong.

Why say the statues were garish or crass? One can like the colors if they wish. I like them. Although i myself didn't have a need for them to be anything at all, and i don't see a logical reason that anyone would.

I think we get a better window into the culture if we allow ourselves to learn as things are discovered. 

The foolishness is that people want to be right about shit, almost at the instant of discovery, but the way it is with most things from before, nobody is really going to be right. The people are dead and can barely speak for themselves, with so little written, and there is too much of their paradigm we just will not know, living in another time.

Why can't we just discover and learn, and enjoy the process of experiencing shit?

NO, I NEED GOD DAMN WHITE STATUES BECAUSE AAUAUAUAUAUGH!!!!

Alright, asshole. You're the norm, so have at it.

sorry so much words.
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Male 12,053
I'm offended because the clean, white marble is so classic and beautiful and the painted versions are obnoxious and crass.  
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Female 107
holygod were you being sarcastic, jokingly, or do you seriously take offense to ancient statues being what they were?
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Male 322
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Male 12,053
mikesex Damnit! Thank you! "Garish" was the word I was looking for and it escaped me.
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Male 276
Why are the ones who claim "I'm not racist" also the ones so obsessed with race?
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Male 642
moldysod That's because SOME people need to be reminded constantly that their skin doesn't make them be better at anything but vitamin D production. People who don't need to be reminded aren't.
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Male 9,575
moldysod I find the ones most obsessed about race are ones who habitually throw out the race card. "That cop gave me a parking ticket. He's racist!"
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Male 5,889
moldysod So are you racist moldysod?
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Female 107
daegog a good question was asked daegog. Don't be a dick.
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Male 7,254
@_suzuka Hey, Karishi. Looks like you're new around here. Welcome to IAB! I hope you have a good time and make some new friends. See you in the threads!

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Female 107
squrlz4ever I been coming here since....  a few years ago.... five or six maybe....  But rarely commented. Thanks for the red flyer wagon. I fucking want one of those badly.
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Male 7,254
@_suzuka You're very welcome. Little red wagons are just the thing for carting your peanuts around in.

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Female 107
squrlz4ever omfg....True that. HEY! Did you know squirrels and deer have a symbiotic relationship where both will signal to the other if danger is near?

Of course city squirrels are less likely to be a part of this.

Shit.... that could be chipmunks, now that i think of it.....
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Male 7,254
@_suzuka Interesting. Well, there's all sorts of communication going back and forth in the woods. Blue jays and crows are pretty reliable sentries. And in terms of sharing alerts with squirrels about approaching hoomans, sasquatches might or might not be invaluable, depending on whether they exist or not, something I can neither confirm nor deny due to the Squirrel-Sasquatch Treaty of 1937.
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Female 107
squrlz4ever God damn.... squirrels actually seem to keep their treaties, too. I guess we'll never quite know if those blurry pics are sasquatch or Sean Connery.
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Male 7,254
@_suzuka LOL. Nope, not tellin'.  :)
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Female 107
squrlz4ever I bet it's always been Sean Connery. 
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Male 9,575
 making some people very upset because it alters perceptions on race. 

If your perception is wrong, it needs to be corrected.  Facts do not care about your feelings. Any butthurt that results is due to your bias/ignorance, not (in this case) the Romans.

But, I've seen a lot of this lately. People claiming research should be ignored, or not even performed if it does not advance their narrative.  
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Female 107
megrendel there are no facts. There is only data, and a narrowing margin of error, possibly.
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Male 4,848
I learned about this in school long ago.   People actually have issue with Romans and Greeks not being white?
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Male 642
kalron27 Yes, and they have been offended by the idea of black pharaohs or black people having built a town. Now the color of the statues isn't all Neanderthal-pink. (Facebok.com is blocked here)
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Male 5,249
i have no idea what kind of thought process would be offended by paint being used on statues.  is this where we are as a so called species. 
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Female 8,378
There are a few few statuettes in the V&A with traces of paint still adhering- rather brightly coloured it was.
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Male 1,709
Couldn't watch the video, the voices were nails on a blackboard level annoying.
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