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Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9707

Resumen

SEPULVEDA, MARCELA et al. IN SITU X-RAY FLUORESCENCE ANALYSIS OF ROCK ART PAINTINGS ALONG THE COAST AND VALLEYS OF THE ATACAMA DESERT, NORTHERN CHILE. J. Chil. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2015, vol.60, n.1, pp.2822-2826. ISSN 0717-9707.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-97072015000100010.

Results of exploratory in situ analyses with a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) applied to six rock painting sites, located from Lluta to Camarones coastal valleys in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, are presented. The results indicate the use of iron oxide as a main component in all paintings, alone or combined with aluminum silicate. Arsenic, a component highly present in water in the region, was also identified, indicating the use of water as a possible binder or thinner. These output allow unraveling painting technology, a step forward to define and understand the stylistic variability of rock art (engravings and paintings) in the context of the social changes and continuities of prehistoric communities. Additionally, it illustrates the effectiveness of portable XRF, a non-destructive analytical tool, applied for the first time in the Atacama Desert.

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