color photos of a black-and-white world, part 3

[part 2]

I love coming across color images from the eras when black-and-white photography and film were so dominant. But what about going further back into the past? How does a sudden look at a time that we’ve only ever seen as monochrome change how you think about it?

io9 recently did a roundup of scientific studies called “Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked”:

Original Greek statues were brightly painted, but after thousands of years, those paints have worn away. Find out how shining a light on the statues can be all that’s required to see them as they were thousands of years ago.

io9 goes into more detail about how this is done (and links to the original work at Harvard, the Smithsonian, and other institutions), but here’s the upshot:

Which is just plain crazy. That looks like a tchotchke somebody’s grandma would have in a knickknack cabinet today. So does this one:

More at io9.

[part 4]

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Mon, Sep 06, 2010 4:37pm

Amazing, isn’t it. We see those statues with their gorgeous detailed features by ancient masters, then discover that had to be painted like a cheap 70’s action figure.

Mon, Sep 06, 2010 5:55pm

Every time this gets brought up, I am reminded of this lovely little tidbit about D.C.:

I love how often we learn that what we think we know is all wrong. It keeps life interesting.