Pigment geochemistry as chronological marker: The case of lead pigment in rock art in the Urrmarning ‘Red Lily Lagoon’ rock art precinct, western Arnhem Land

10th May 2014

Motifs from Minjnyimirnjdawabu rock shelter (published in Australian Archaeology 78).

Motifs from Minjnyimirnjdawabu rock shelter (published in Australian Archaeology 78).

Daryl Wesley, Tristen Jones and Christian Reepmeyer

This paper presents selected results of an experimental study using portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) for the non-destructive analysis of rock art pigments in northern Australia. During two weeks of fieldwork in the dry season of 2011 at the Red Lily Lagoon area in western Arnhem Land, 32 rock art motifs in four rockshelter sites were analysed. A total of 640 analyses were undertaken, including of white, red, black, yellow and blue pigments from both early and contact art motifs. This paper discusses the geochemical analysis of one particular motif painted with black pigment. It was determined that processed metal lead was the most likely pigment base. Contrary to previous stylistic analysis that suggested the motif had an old age, our analysis suggests that the motif was painted within the last 200–300 years.

Wesley, D., T. Jones and C. Reepmeyer
Pigment geochemistry as chronological marker: The case of lead pigment in rock art in the Urrmarning ‘Red Lily Lagoon’ rock art precinct, western Arnhem Land
June 2014
78
1–x
Article
You must be a member to download the attachment ( Login / Sign up )