Frobenius-Institut Logo

Select your language

Patina of the desert. Recreation of the patina of engraved or painted Saharan sandstone

Cooperation in research project: Dr Karl Heinz Striedter

Period of research: 2004 - 2006

In the context of its organisation, the Fédération Européenne des Réseaux de Coopération Scientifique et Technique PACT "Sciences et patrimoine culturel", the European Commission has approved financial support for a research project to run for three years (2004-2006). The programme of the project is the study of the desert patina that forms on sandstone and other stones.


Research in the field and the laboratory should clarify how the desert patina arises and which factors and influences are responsible for how it originates and returns. (For example, engravings destroy the dark patina of a rock and stand out as light-coloured on the surface. In course of time the patina reforms on the engraved lines and surfaces, until they can no longer be distinguished from the surrounding rock surface). In relation to research on rock drawings, what is especially interesting is the question of whether the patina can be used to date the rock drawings more accurately than has been usual up to now.


The project brings scholars of different disciplines together, with their specialist interests and experiences. Institutions from North Africa and Europe are taking part.