If you're interested in archaeology, you may have seen this word before, but never knew what it was. First of all, it is pronounced as "oker" (like poker without the "p"). It is a red or sometimes yellow material that is produced when iron in rocks and boulders "oxidizes". You can see a similar result when old iron rusts. Ochre is much more useful than plain old rust, however. When it is collected from rocks and cliffs, it looks almost like a red stone, but it breaks apart very easily. It has been used by people for a very long time to make rock paintings, many of which we can still see today. If you pound the ochre into a powder and mix it with egg white, or fish oil, or spit, as the artists of the rock paintings may have done, you can make a paint out of it. You will then have the same material that the artists of Lascaux and Chauvet had about 30,000 years ago. Ochre has been used all over the world by different societies for their paintings. It has been used for tens of thousands of years by the first artists of Australia. It was also used by the Blackfoot as a paint. But as you've read ochre wasn't only used as a paint. It has also been used in burial ceremonies by various peoples throughout human history. It is even found in some of the earliest human burials that we know of. Where ever ochre occurs naturally it has been used and valued by people.