Within the framework of the European Commission's program “ Patine du Desert ” (DG Research; INCO-CT-FP6-2004-509100), partially concerning the preservation of Saharan engraved rock art, the approach led to the study of the sandstone patina from the rock art site of Oum La Leg (Anti-Atlas, Morocco). The rock and its Tazina school engravings are sometimes covered with a thin brown-ochre coating which only shows a dark patina, the desert patina. This film corresponds to a weathering cortex whose formation is contemporary with wet events from the Holocene period. On the surface, the patinas’ diversity is linked to the heterogeneous distribution of manganese oxides (birnessite and todorokite) due to a reorganisation which led to the incorporation of aeolian silts. Some dating suggestions are made to establish an ante quem age for the engraved lines.
Patinas, Cortex, Rock art, Palaeoclimate, Morocco