Microanalysis and dating for rock art studies: towards a common analytical strategy

Journal Article


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title

South African Archaeological Bulletin

Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Usual questions that may require analytical work in rock art relate to investigations that seek correlations between archaeological deposits and the rock wall and human activities within the site, the relationships between sites (material sourcing, landscape use), dating (direct or relative chronology), and conservation studies (nature and causes of alterations). From early works to recent research in archaeology, South Africand France have had many fruitful interactions (e.g. Breuil 1930; Clottes 1996; Henshilwood 2002; Parkington 2005; Hœrlé 2007; Tournié 2010). Today, under the aegis of two international and interdisciplinary programmes linking South Africand France - GDRI-STAR "Science, Technologies, Art Rupestre" and ARCUS le-de-France/South Africa "Rock Art" - the aim, among other topics, is to foster the use of materials microanalytical tools in rock art studies. GDRI-STAR is an international research network gathering together teams of South African and French researchers from backgrounds as diverse as archaeology, linguistics, conservation, materialscience and geosciences, with a common interest in rock art studies. GDRI-STAR is jointly funded by the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The ARCUS le-deFrance/South Africa "Rock Art" project aims at fostering research in the field of rock art by bringing together a cluster of analytical laboratories and archaeological teams in Région le-de-France, France, and leading South African academic centres. It is funded by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the le-de-France provincial council, and managed through the CNRS and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).