Geochemistry

Expert analyses will be undertaken of the microscopic layers of dust and other materials that have accumulated on rock surfaces.  Such micro-laminae, each like a superimposed page in a book, enable scientists to find out how old the art is by dating suitable organic compounds that have accumulated below and above layers of paint.  It also enables researchers to determine the composition of paint layers, the nature of materials that separate them, and thus whether different paint layers were made at the same time or during different events by comparing the chemistry of the paints for similarities and differences and by examining whether layers are separated by other accumulated materials.

The physical and chemical analyses of pigments from rock art panels and excavated materials can also be analysed so that excavated and dated pigments can be related to specific paintings and cross-dated.

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