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Modern surveys in the United States and Europe show red is also the color most commonly associated with heat, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love and joy.
Madder, a plant whose root could be made into a red dye, grew widely in Europe, Africa and Asia.
The cave of Altamira in Spain has a painting of a bison colored with red ochre that dates to between 15,000 and 16,500 BC.
A different variety of dye was made from Porphyrophora hamelii (Armenian cochineal) scale insects that lived on the roots and stems of certain herbs.
It was mentioned in texts as early as the 8th century BC, and it was used by the ancient Assyrians and Persians.
A red-painted wooden bowl was found at a Neolithic site in Yuyao, Zhejiang.
Other red-painted ceremonial objects have been found at other sites dating to the Spring and Autumn period (770–221 BC).
A red dye called Kermes was made beginning in the Neolithic Period by drying and then crushing the bodies of the females of a tiny scale insect in the genus Kermes, primarily Kermes vermilio.
The insects live on the sap of certain trees, especially Kermes oak trees near the Mediterranean region.
Red ochre was widely used as a pigment for wall paintings, particularly as the skin color of men.