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A Matter of Time – Applications of portable X-Ray Fluorescence in establishing rock art chronologies

Author(s): Julienne Bernard ; Fraser Sturt ; David Robinson ; Clare Bedford

Year: 2015

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The aim in this examination was to examine the potential for portable XRF technology to contribute to chronologies of in situ rock art. In order to do this pXRF data from Chumash rock art panels in the Wind Wolves Preserve in South Central California were compared with one another, and with readings from ochre found in excavated deposits. These ochre deposits are associated with other artefacts which have known dates. The results showed that multiple pigments were used within each rock art panel and within individual elements, indicating that multiple painting events may have taken place over a period of time. The pXRF data can be used to link areas of panels in which the same pigment material was used in order to tie together chronologies based on superimposition. The results also demonstrated the potential for comparison of chemical composition to be used to link ochre from excavated deposits with in situ rock art, thereby providing a probable date for its production.

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A Matter of Time – Applications of portable X-Ray Fluorescence in establishing rock art chronologies. Clare Bedford, David Robinson, Fraser Sturt, Julienne Bernard. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397751)


Chumash Rock Art XRF

Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America