I've blogged about using RAMAN spectroscopy to analyze ancient Mayan paint pigments here .
Professor Vandenabeele also used this method at another Mayan site in Yucatan. The little know temple complex of Ek'Balam which variously translates as 'Black Jaguar', Bright Star Jaguar' or 'Star Jaguar' is near the more famous Chichen Itza.
Thirty three samples were studied from room 23 of the acropolis, the brilliantly carved facade is shown in the image below.
These samples were analyzed using RAMAN spectroscopy and several pigments were identified.
Haematite (reddish brown), Calcite (white), Carbon (black), Cinnabar (red) and Indigo (blue).
Indigo is an inorganic dye obtained from the plant of the same name and combined with Palygorskite clay makes the famous "Maya Blue" pigment which was sacred to the Mayans and I'll bore you to tears about it in another post.