La Espiral Cave (Cuba): Guano and signs of Plant Substances Used as Paint Ingredients

  • Racso Fernández
  • Dany Morales
  • Martí Mas
  • Alberto Jorge
  • Monica Solís
  • Enrique Parra
  • Dialvys Rodríguez
Article

Abstract

At La Espiral cave, located in Bahia Honda municipality (Artemisa province, Cuba), there are several pictographs, including two of particular importance due to the design used: one of concentric circles and another of a spiral. We analyzed the pigments and binders used in one of these pictographs. The chemical ingredients of the paint are considered in this article, as well as the use of bat guano as a major pigment compound. The apparent presence of ellagic acid, ellagitannin, or anthocyanins would strengthen the hypothesis that artists used vegetable protein as a paint binder or solvent.

Keywords

Pigments Guano Binder/solvent Pictograph Quercus Juglans 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Racso Fernández
    • 1
  • Dany Morales
    • 1
  • Martí Mas
    • 2
  • Alberto Jorge
    • 3
  • Monica Solís
    • 2
  • Enrique Parra
    • 4
  • Dialvys Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Cuban Group of Rock Art ResearchersCuban Institute of Anthropology (ICAN)HavanaCuba
  2. 2.Prehistory and Archaeology DepartmentDistance Learning National University (UNED)MadridSpain
  3. 3.National Museum of Natural SciencesSuperior Council of Scientific Research State Agency (CSIC)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Materials LaboratoryInstitute of Spain Cultural HeritageMadridSpain

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