The archaeometry of ochre sensu lato: A review

Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff, Andrew M. Zipkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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This manuscript seeks to facilitate meta-analysis of cross-disciplinary ochre studies by advocating for a common vocabulary and clarifying the definition of “ochre” as used by archaeological scientists across cultural and geographic specialties. This work reviews the current state of ochre archaeometry, spanning the beginning of its major period of growth in the late 20th century through the present. Here, the focus is on the main areas of ochre archaeometry as represented in the published literature, with characteristic example studies and best practices for each. These areas include methodological approaches to characterization and provenience, instrumental data interpretation and its relation to experimental design and sampling, experimental archaeology, and chronometry. A key focus of this manuscript is highlighting emerging areas of research, such as biological processes and phenomena, and extant but understudied applications in the field including isotopic systems, genomic analysis, and experimental archaeology of ochre.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105530
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical methods
  • Characterization
  • Fe-oxide
  • Iron hydroxide
  • Iron oxide
  • Ochre
  • Provenience


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