Monday, March 18, 2013

Ancient Rock Art at Risk, Warn Experts

Chatton. Urgent action is needed to prevent ancient art disappearing, Newcastle University experts have warned. (Credit: Image courtesy of Newcastle University)

Researchers from the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS)  and School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) studied the physical underpinnings and condition of Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art panels in Northumberland. They conclude climate change could cause the art to vanish because new evidence suggests stones may deteriorate more rapidly in the future.
Writing in the Journal of Cultural and Heritage Studies, they say action is needed so the art can be preserved for future generations, but they also urge that a deeper understanding is needed of what causes rock art to deteriorate.
David Graham, Professor of Ecosystems Engineering (CEG) said: “We wanted to understand the scientific reasons why these stones may deteriorate. Our findings show that predicted changes to our broader environment  – such as more wind and warmer, wetter weather -  could have a devastating effect on these artworks. If we want to keep them, we need to start looking at how we can preserve them now.”

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