South Africa has one of the richest rock art heritages in the world. Thousands of paintings and engravings are a testament to the artistic talent of the San people.
To further the understanding of these paintings, a team of French and South African scientists carried out the first campaign in this country to analyse rock paintings in situ using a Raman spectrometer.
This technique makes it possible to identify the pigments used in the paintings without damaging them. It is an approach that is equally of interest to chemists, archaeologists and curators.