chapter  5
Pages 23

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Mecklenburg antiquarian Friedrich Lisch described the grey of the granite boulders, the red of the sandstone slabs and the white of the burnt flint scattered on the chamber floors as ‘sound colour composition … in the world of few colours’ (quoted from Steinmann 2001, 15). This extraordinary consideration was, alas, not followed up for at least a century and a half. The idea that the megalith builders consciously employed certain raw materials, not only for practical purposes but also with consideration for the mystical and symbolic meaning of certain textures and colours, has recently been experiencing something of a revival in British archaeological literature (Jones 1999; Jones and MacGregor 2002). Little discussion of such matters has taken place elsewhere, although the results of recent work in Denmark in relation to the restoring of passage graves are beginning to encourage a similar debate (Dehn et al. 1995).