Àfrica Pitarch

Àfrica Pitarch
University of Barcelona | UB · Departament d'Arts i Conservació-Restauració

PhD

About

44
Publications
14,750
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Africa Pitarch Martí (Ph.D., 2011, Autonomous University of Barcelona). Postdoctoral Researcher at SERP (Seminari d'Estudis i Recerques Prehistòriques, University of Barcelona, Spain). My current research is focused in Palaeolithic pigments exploitation and use.
Additional affiliations
April 2019 - March 2021
University of Barcelona
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2018 - present
Université Bordeaux 1
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • LabEx - LaScArBx Program
September 2015 - October 2017
Université Bordeaux 1
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Beatriu de Pinos - Marie Curie COFUND Program

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
The Cueva de Ardales is a hugely important Palaeolithic site in the south of the Iberian Peninsula owing to its rich inventory of rock art. From 2011–2018, excavations were carried out in the cave for the first time ever by a Spanish-German research team. The excavation focused on the entrance area of the cave, where the largest assemblage of non-f...
Article
Personal ornaments have become a key cultural proxy to investigate cognitive evolution, modern human dispersal, and population dynamics. Here, we reassess personal ornaments found at Zhoukoudian Upper Cave and compare them with those from other Late Paleolithic Northern Chinese sites. We reappraise the information provided by Pei Wen Chung on Upper...
Data
Supplementary Online Material for the article: Errico, Francesco d’, Africa Pitarch Martí, Yi Wei, Xing Gao, Marian Vanhaeren, and Luc Doyon. “Zhoukoudian Upper Cave Personal Ornaments and Ochre: Rediscovery and Reevaluation.” Journal of Human Evolution 161 (2021): 103088. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2021.103088.
Article
Full-text available
It is widely known that the vivid hue of red cinnabar can darken or turn black. Many authors have studied this transformation, but only a few in the context of the archeological site of Pompeii. In this work, the co-occurrence of different degradation patterns associated with Pompeian cinnabar-containing fresco paintings (alone or in combination wi...
Article
Full-text available
Cueva de Ardales in Málaga, Spain, is one of the richest and best-preserved Paleolithic painted caves of southwestern Europe, containing over a thousand graphic representations. Here, we study the red pigment in panel II.A.3 of "Sala de las Estrellas," dated by U-Th to the Middle Paleolithic, to determine its composition, verify its anthropogenic n...
Article
Cueva de Ardales in Málaga, Spain, is one of the richest and bestpreserved Paleolithic painted caves of southwestern Europe, containing over a thousand graphic representations. Here, we study the red pigment in panel II.A.3 of “Sala de las Estrellas,” dated by U-Th to the Middle Paleolithic, to determine its composition, verify its anthropogenic na...
Article
Full-text available
The origin and evolution of hominin mortuary practices are topics of intense interest and debate1–3. Human burials dated to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) are exceedingly rare in Africa and unknown in East Africa1–6. Here we describe the partial skeleton of a roughly 2.5- to 3.0-year-old child dating to 78.3 ± 4.1 thousand years ago, which was recovere...
Article
In this work, an innovative non-destructive monitoring methodology based on the analysis over time of open-air rock art sites is presented. This approach is based on the combination of in situ spectroscopic and chemometric studies to diagnose and monitor the state of conservation of rock art sites. Data acquired over a period of time by non-invasiv...
Article
Full-text available
The aqueduct of Les Ferreres is a major element of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco. Although the ashlars of the aqueduct are stacked without mortar, lime was used in some parts and lime was certainly used in later repairs. Worthy of note is a coating mortar used in a well-documented restoration (1854–1856). In this study, a limekiln found ne...
Article
African Middle Stone Age (MSA) populations used pigments, manufactured and wore personal ornaments, made abstract engravings, and produced fully shaped bone tools. However, ongoing research across Africa reveals variability in the emergence of cultural innovations in the MSA and their subsequent development through the Later Stone Age (LSA). When p...
Article
Full-text available
The use of colouring materials by Neanderthals has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Here we present a taphonomic, technological, chemical-mineralogical and functional analysis of fifty-four manganese rich lumps recovered during past and on-going excavations at the lower rockshelter of Le Moustier (Dordogne, France). We compare c...
Article
Full-text available
The originally published version of this Article contained an error in Fig. 3, whereby an additional unrelated graph was overlaid on top of the magnetic susceptibility plot. Furthermore, the Article title contained an error in the capitalisation of 'Stone Age'. Both of these errors have now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Ar...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle to Later Stone Age transition in Africa has been debated as a significant shift in human technological, cultural, and cognitive evolution. However, the majority of research on this transition is currently focused on southern Africa due to a lack of long-term, stratified sites across much of the African continent. Here, we report a 78,000...
Article
Lumps of mineral pigments are the more widespread archaeological remains found at Mousterian sites that may have been used by Neanderthals for symbolic activities. The characterisation of their chemical composition is essential to identify behavioural consistencies in their selection, transformation, and use, reconstruct changes through time in Nea...
Article
Beads are a communication technology used by humans to transmit information on the wearer identity to members of the same or neighbouring groups by means of a shared symbolic language. Here we focus on the earliest evidence from Eastern Asia of a communication technology – the production of artificially coloured beads – that has allowed humans to f...
Article
Full-text available
Ochre is a common feature at Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites and has often been interpreted as a proxy for the origin of modern behaviour. However, few ochre processing tools, ochre containers, and ochre-stained artefacts from MSA contexts have been studied in detail within a theoretical framework aimed at inferring the technical steps involved in the...
Data
Results of analyses conducted on ochre processing tools 12–14; 16–23 and ochre-stained artefact 15. Photos of the artefacts, modification marks and residues, SEM-EDS images and XRD diffractograms. The objects' identification number is the same as presented in Figs 4–11, Tables 1–5, S1 Fig, S1 Table, S1 Text. (PDF)
Data
Results of residue analysis on ochre processing tools and ochre-stained artefacts from Porc-Epic Cave. SEM-EDS, μ-RS and XRD analyses. The objects' identification number is the same as presented in Figs 4–11, Tables 1–5, S1 and S2 Figs, S1 Table. (PDF)
Data
Results of analyses conducted on ochre processing tools 1–4; 6–11 and ochre-stained artefact 5. Photos of the artefacts, modification marks and residues, SEM-EDS images and XRD diffractograms. The objects' identification number is the same as presented in Figs 4–11, Tables 1–5, S2 Fig, S1 Table, S1 Text. (PDF)
Data
Detailed results of elemental and mineralogical analyses conducted on ochre processing tools and ochre-stained artefacts. SEM-EDS and μ-RS analyses. The objects' identification number is the same as presented in Figs 4–11, Tables 1–5, S1 and S2 Figs, S1 Text. (PDF)
Article
Due to the fact that pigments are not ubiquitous in the archaeological record, the application of non-invasive analytical methods is a necessity. In this work, pink and purple lake pigments recovered from the excavations of the ancient city of Pompeii (Campania, Italy) and preserved in their original bowls at the Naples National Archaeological Muse...
Book
Full-text available
Download it in: http://www.cuadernosdearterupestre.es/arterupestre/libro4D.pdf
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The site of Can Tacó, dated roughly in the last quarter of the 2nd century B.C. and located at a strategic point in the territory, marks the first stage of the Roman deployment in the north-western area of the Iberian Peninsula. Since 2003, the archaeological have uncovered a storey-building with some residential areas around the courtyard on a cen...
Article
Full-text available
In situ micro-Raman spectroscopy (μ-RS) of rock art paintings in open-air rock shelters entails several difficulties: sunlight, wind, dust and crusts that mask Raman signals from the pigments and any other component of the paint recipe. These problems have been considered in the present work. Special attention has been devoted to the presence of cr...
Article
This work presents the results of field Raman analyses, assisted by a hand-held energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, for the experimental determination of efflorescence from walls and wall paintings of two Pompeian houses, one with many luxurious decorative elements (House of Marcus Lucretius, Regio IX, Insula 3, House 5/24) and a mor...
Article
Full-text available
An in situ study of post-Palaeolithic blackish pictographs found in an open air rock-shelter, Los Chaparros site (Albalate del Arzobispo, Teruel province, Spain), was carried out to identify the black pigments used. The composition of the pigments was analyzed by means of non-invasive instrumentation, such as portable Raman spectroscopy (RS) and a...
Article
The present work exemplifies, over a mural painting from the 14th century, the advantages of an initial exhaustive research using latest generation hand-held spectrometers (Raman mainly) in order to perform the characterization of valuable objects of cultural heritage. These in-situ techniques (meaning on-site and non-destructive) are very useful t...
Article
A small plate of oil on copper painting from the Italian Renaissance period was characterized by means of noninvasive spectroscopic methods. The study was conducted by the use of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and Raman and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopies to determine the technology production...
Article
A very accurate archaeological dating of a Roman site in NE Spain (El Vila-sec) was made based on the typology of pottery artifacts. Three different phases were identified with activity ranging from the mid-1st century BC to the early-3rd century AD. Analyses of bricks from kilns at El Vila-sec produced data on their stored archaeomagnetic vector....
Article
A set of chromolithographs from the 19th century were analysed to identify the fillers and pigments used for their elabora-tion. Because of the delicacy of the chromolithographs, the research involved the use of Raman, Fourier-transform infrared and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopies for a complete characterization of the works on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The imperial cult area of Tarraco was built in the 1st century AD in the highest part of the city and presided over the seat of the Concilium Prouinciae Hispaniae Citerioris. It was a temenos with a similar layout to that of the Forum Pacis and architectural decoration imitating that of the Forum Augustum in Rome, where the use of marble was a fund...
Article
Full-text available
Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence is a common analytical tool for layer thickness measurements in quality control processes in the coating industry, but there are scarce microanalytical applications in order to ascertain semi-quantitative or quantitative information of painted layers. "Oil on copper" painting becomes a suitable material to be an...
Article
Full-text available
Between the years 1808 and 1814, the Spanish War of Independence took place. This period, locally known as “Guerra del Francès”, generated the need for money and consequently five mints were opened around the Catalan territory. To mark the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the war, an extensive campaign of Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence m...
Article
Greek colonizers arrived at the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. and founded a small colony known as Emporion in north-east Spain. By the fifth century B.C., this colony became a small polis with a well-organized administrative structure. In this context, the necessity of coinage was a fact and the first coins were minte...

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
PALAEOARTEAST examines a number of cave art sites in the Balkans, an area important for understanding the arrival of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in Europe and the origins of Pleistocene art and symbolism in this continent. It mainly focuses on the sites of Romualdova pecina and Badanj, the two first cave sites where archaeologists discovered palaeolithic images in SE Europe, which becomes PALAEOARTEAST a natural continuation of our previous project: BALKARTS. Additionally, we study of other Eastern European cave art sites, such as Kapova (southern Urals, Russia) with the aim of comparing and linking the symbolic behaviour of these populations. The project is led from the University of Southampton and majorly funded by the British Academy in the context of the Newton International Fellowships program.
Project
The present project proposes applying a multi-disciplinary approach for the study of paintings and related artefacts from one of the earliest instances of Palaeolithic cave art in Spain (the Ardales cave, Málaga). Through the reconstruction of pigment "chaînes opératoires" at this key site, the project aims to restore the lost connections between painted representations and artefacts left by Palaeolithic artists, and document changes through time in artistic practices. The project will also explore to what extent observed differences reflect changes in the cultural and group affiliation of the artists and in the degrees of expertise. Through the identification of mineral pigment sources, we will be able to explore the relationship between changes in raw material and landscape use. The comprehensive study of this cave’s painting technologies will also contribute to our understanding of the evolution of prehistoric pictorial practices in southwestern Europe.
Project
Parallèlement au projet DEX_TER (https://www.researchgate.net/project/DEX-TER-Lascaux-au-coeur-dun-reseau-culturel-inedit-a-la-fin-du-Pleniglaciaire-LabEx-LaScArBx), les recherches programmées dans le cadre du projet LAsCO (LAscaux sols COntextualisation) s’organisent en 2 principaux volets alimentant respectivement des problématiques strictement archéologiques (volet « recherches à vocation archéologique ») et des questionnements patrimoniaux (volet « recherches à vocation conservatoire »). Le premier volet vise à (1) réétudier l'ensemble des objets découverts dans la cavité (silex, industrie osseuse, faune, lampes, colorants, résidus, etc.) et (2) à reconnecter ces vestiges aux sols paléolithiques préalablement restitués dans leur morphologie. Ce volet « recherches à but scientifique », qui permettra non seulement de réfléchir sur la dynamique intra-site (homogénéité du matériel, variations inter-secteurs, etc.) mais aussi d’ouvrir sur des comparaisons à plus large échelle, s'accompagne d’un programme inédit de datations C14 sur faune et d'analyses spécialisées mises en œuvre par une équipe pluridisciplinaire forte d'une vingtaine de chercheur.ses (technotypologie, pétroarchéologie, tracéologie, analyse des résidus, SIG 2D et 3D, etc.). Le second volet de ces recherches revêt une « vocation conservatoire ». Afin de pallier la dissémination des collections publiques et privées, la réalisation de modèles photogrammétriques des objets de Lascaux permettra de réunir une collection virtuelle dont l’intérêt sera multiple : outil de recherche et de valorisation, objet patrimonial. Enfin, le travail de restitution des volumes de la cavité aux temps paléolithiques permettra de modéliser les conditions microclimatiques au moment des occupations et, ainsi, de réfléchir sur le temps long aux impacts des écoulements aéraulitiques sur les conditions de conservations des parois. Le projet LAsCO, tel que proposé ici, se développe sur trois années (2018-2020).