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Développement de nouvelles procédures quantitatives pour une meilleure compréhension des pigments et des parois des grottes ornées préhistoriques

Abstract : The present study is a physicochemical research as well as a methodological work, carried out through the study of three Palaeolithic caves by X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction. The analytical complexity behind in situ and non-invasive study of rock art, has guided our reflexion about the development of quantitative procedures of data processing, in order to adjust them appropriately to the specificity of the site and its rock art (specific constitution of the analysed pigment and conservation condition of the ornamented wall). This complexity is due to the fact that pigment layers don’t cover uniformly the rock surface. Also, the layers are generally very thin. For this reason, in the pigment signal, the proportion of the physicochemical information specific to the substrate is very high.Three approaches have been tested in the caves of Rouffignac, Font-de-Gaume and La Garma to characterise their Palaeolithic rock art. The two first are located in the Périgord region in the south-west of France, the last one in the Cantabrian region of Spain. One is related to the semi-quantification of oxides which discriminate the pigment from the substrate, allowing to not taking account experimental condition parameters; the second is a semi-quantification related to Ca, in order that the contribution in the concentration of the substrate detected through the paint layer remains the same for each measurement point; the last one is based on a Monte Carlo simulations method to separate distinctly the pigment information to those from the wall. These quantitative approaches enhanced the stylistic knowledge of archaeologists, bringing new physicochemical insights into the organisation of the representations and their relationship with the others inside the cave. Also, this work is concerned by the karstic environment; incorporating a research on wall taphonomy to the pigment study. The aim is to access to a better appreciation of the pigment-wall interactions and their evolution during time, given their global environmental context.
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Marine Gay. Développement de nouvelles procédures quantitatives pour une meilleure compréhension des pigments et des parois des grottes ornées préhistoriques. Chimie analytique. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015PA066236⟩. ⟨tel-01488984⟩

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