Full Version: Blue pigments in Central Asia
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I'm looking for shades of paints that are plausible for wood, leather, etc. gear among Skythians, other Central Asians, and Iranians in the Achaemenid and earlier periods.  I'm particularly interested in how often one should expect to see blue paint and in what shades.  I know that lapis lazuli was traded from Afghanistan, and I understand it was pretty rare and expensive.  I'm also aware that azurite deposits exist in Iran and Kazakhstan, but I don't know if it was used as a pigment in this period, or just as a copper ore.  There was also apparently smalt used as a pottery glaze, and Egyptian blue.

What I'd really like to know is, was there a pigment that was used for blue anywhere near as commonly as, say, ochres were for red and yellow, and if so, what did it look like?  Or should I expect to see blue used mainly by wealthier individuals and craftspeople who cater to them?  I used quite a bit of deep blue paint in my kit for Marathon 2015 but lately I'm wondering if I should cut back.
If textile dyes are in any way useful, I would suggest looking at the Tarim/Xinjiang textiles. No idea what kind of pigments they used (it might be in the book by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, but I can't remember anything off the top of my head), but there's definitely a lot of reds, yellows and also blues.
Other sources could be the textiles from Noin-Ul and even from Pazyryk. (pazyryk iirc had some leather and wood objects as well)

Or ask the guys at Eran ud Turan, they have some rather deep blue bits in their kit:
That's an interesting thought; using dyes to stain paint doesn't tend to spring to mind, but I suppose it could work if the paint were whitened with chalk.  I have read that woad is endemic to Central Asia and I've always figured it could have been used for fabric.  By Elizabeth Wayland Barber's book, I presume you mean Prehistoric Textiles?

I will go ahead and contact Eran ud Turan today.  Thanks for that!
I meant this one, though Prehistoric Textiles might work too.