This application note focuses on rock art paintings in open-air rock shelters in five rock art sites in the eastern Iberian Peninsula. Each of these sites presents outstanding difficulties of analysis by Raman spectroscopy, the most prevalent being crusts that mask Raman signals from the pigments and any other component of the paint recipe. X-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance using portable instruments as well as electronic microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of micro-specimens from the painting panels have revealed the distribution of the different components. This not only helps to discern what the images are, but also contributes to the scientific dating of the crusts and rock art itself.
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