Methodological approach (in situ and laboratory) for the characterisation of late prehistoric rock paintings—Penedo Gordo (NW Spain)
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2184
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/11/6/551
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2599 Otras Especialidades de la Tierra, Espacio o Entorno ; 5504.05 Prehistoria
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
This paper draws on the study of the prehistoric art site of Penedo Gordo (NW Spain) resulting from a collaborative interdisciplinary research. One of its primary goals was to design and put into practice a multi-analytical protocol for characterising prehistoric rock paintings, combining in situ and laboratory analytical techniques. Thus, following the archaeological assessment of the site, the panels exhibiting red paintings were analysed by colour spectrophotometry and portable Raman spectroscopy. Analytical techniques were applied to a collection of samples exhumed from the excavation that simultaneously took place on site. These included three red accretions on different substrates (compact soil, white quartzite and grey quartzite) and stone fragments representative of the outcrop’s petrographic variability, aiming to determine their mineralogical composition, texture and study the stone-paint boundaries. Moreover, colouring materials exhumed from the excavation and collected in the immediate surroundings of the rock outcrop were analysed in order to scrutinise the provenience rock art’s raw materials. Laboratory analysis consisted of stereomicroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. One of the major outcomes was the discovery of a drop of red pigment preserved in an archaeological layer associated with Late Neolithic/Copper Age material remains.
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