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Keywords:

  • SERS;
  • rock-art paintings;
  • black stains;
  • melanins

We used surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to investigate the chemical composition of the black stains threatening the rock-art paintings of Lascaux Cave, Montignac, France. The stains are mainly composed of melanin from the fungus Ochroconis sp. and the faecal pellets of the collembolan Folsomia candida. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is a useful technique for revealing the structure of unknown macromolecules in cultural heritage research. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.