Roman Britain in Colour Display
Pause and enjoy a dramatic reimagining of seven Roman altars in the Hadrian's Wall gallery.
Pause and enjoy a dramatic reimagining that shows how seven Roman altars in the Hadrian's Wall gallery were originally brightly coloured.
We do not know how these altars would have looked exactly. The colours and patterns are based on research on stones from across Roman Britain, including traces of paint found by using ultraviolet and x-ray technology.
Paint pigments were made from local, natural materials such as iron ore, chalk and clay, which make earthy colours. Rare colours like blue were only used for special artworks. These pigments could have travelled over 1000 miles from other parts of the Roman Empire to reach Britain, and were used in small amounts.
To imagine what these altars would have looked like, we worked with two partners. WallCAP, a Lottery-funded Hadrian's Wall community archaeology project, hosted by Newcastle University, and NOVAK, a creative studio based in the North East which specialises in video design and projection mapping.