ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY APPLIED TO STUDIES OF RUPESTRES PIGMENTS: A REVIEW
Instrumental advances have been employed in the study of archeological remains such as prehistoric rupestrians paintings with the objective of chemically characterizing them in order to reconstruct the cultural technologies of a prehistoric human group and/or to support conservation science studies. The analytical techniques most commonly used in archaeometric research are non-destructive or semi-destructive and preferably portable to preserve the integrity of the rupestrians paintings. They include X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), and the many techniques with emerging applications such as Mössbauer Spectroscopy, X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structures (XANES), Particle Induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry (PIXE) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA ICP-MS). Therefore, this paper presents a review of the literature on the development of chemical strategies employed in the study of rock art, focusing mainly on the critical evaluation of analytical techniques used, limitations, challenges and the perspectives within this area of study.