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Analyses non invasives in situ des œuvres préhistoriques de la grotte de Font-de-Gaume pour une meilleure connaissance du décor pariétal polychrome et de son organisation

Abstract : In this article we present a first assessment of recent results of chemical analysis of the decor of the Font-de Gaume cave. These data were obtained during four field missions between 2013 and 2017. Slightly more than two hundred representations are divided between animal art and signs (tectiforms), in proportions of about two thirds to one third. Most represented is the bison, hence the name "Bison Cave". The figures were made with different techniques. We find polychrome paintings, drawings and engravings. The state of conservation of the cave is a reflection of its great fragility. The walls are very heterogeneous, which represents a real analytical challenge for the chemical analysis of figures since the analyzes must be lim-ited to non-invasive approaches without contact. Thus, we carried out around two hundred analyzes by portable X-ray fluorescence to characterize the coloring matters. These analyzes were carried out in order to obtain new elements of answer as for the chemical composition of the coloring matter used and the techniques of realization of these works of the Upper Paleolithic. Here we present the approach used, focusing particularly on the processing of the measurements carried out. These first evaluations of the data made it possible to identify dif-ferent coloring materials used in the Font-de-Gaume cave. The approach developed has thus shown its potential, when applying on a larger number of figures and by integrating additional information. In the long term this enables improving knowledge of these works and their suc-cessive realization in the case of superimposed figures which seems very important, in the absence of a direct dating of the parietal works of Font-de-Gaume.
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Contributor : Ina Reiche <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 4, 2020 - 5:47:25 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 2:18:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 5, 2021 - 7:31:06 PM

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Ina Reiche, Antoine Trosseau, Marine Gay, David Strivay, Jean- Jacques Cleyet-Merle, et al.. Analyses non invasives in situ des œuvres préhistoriques de la grotte de Font-de-Gaume pour une meilleure connaissance du décor pariétal polychrome et de son organisation. PALEO : Revue d'Archéologie Préhistorique, Société des amis du Musée national de préhistoire et de la recherche archéologique — SAMRA, 2020, pp.262-269. ⟨10.4000/paleo.5707⟩. ⟨hal-03041191⟩

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