Why were only 6 colors being produced during the ancient Egpytian era? Egyptians only had six colors as it is evidenced in paintings: black/white; red/blue, yellow/green.

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ancient Egyptians did not have access to the wide variety of materials modern artists can use to combine and create unlimited variations of colors. Colored paints were made by combining powdered minerals; only a limited number of minerals were available in that part of the world, which meant only a limited number of colors could be made. Copper or iron oxide, silica, calcium, red ocher, gypsum, chalk, and carbonized matter such as burnt plants or bones were combined in varying proportions to produce the colors used by the ancient Egyptian artists.