Contemporary Issues in Rock Art Conservation and Preservation

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Conservation and preservation of rock art is a goal of most rock art focused organizations as well as most government agencies tasked with protecting archaeological sites on lands they manage. The way these goals are accomplished varies throughout the world. Sharing information regarding steps taken to reach these goals, successes or failures of the steps involved, and lessons learned in the process can only lead to improved understanding of conservation activities and preservation results. Although conservation projects are often community initiatives spearheaded by an organized group or a government agency, individuals can also be the driving force behind site protection, and this session provides a forum to showcase projects of any size, at any location, using a variety of methods, and resulting in any level of success. The symposium seeks to provide an overview of contemporary actions being employed on behalf of rock art site protection.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Applying the Archaeological Resources Protection Act to Rock Art (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Linea Sundstrom.

    The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) provides a legal framework for site protection. A review of various ARPA cases involving rock art points out the advantages and challenges of referring rock art vandalism and theft for prosecution. Case outcomes have ranged from out-of-court settlements to fines to incarceration. The keys to successful prosecution of such cases are appropriate public education about archaeological resource protection laws, competent gathering of evidence,...

  • BC "Rock" Stars: The Next Generation (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Aurora Skala.

    This presentation will showcase a cultural rediscovery and ethnoarchaeology project taking place in Kitasoo/Xai Xais Nations’ traditional territory on the Central Coast of BC in the town of Klemtu. In 2016, First Nations youth created a pictograph in their community using traditional materials and subject matter. The first painting of its kind in this area for approximately one hundred years, it is a significant statement on the landscape. By encouraging youth to engage with archaeologists and...

  • Conservation and Preservation Issues Post Fire (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alice Tratebas.

    Wild fire damage to rock art can have long term effects. Panels may continue to spall over time from the fire damage or from the effects of soluble salts that were activated and spread during the fire. Rock outcrops and slopes may become destabilized after fire denudes vegetation. Panels can be buried or have ashy sediments washed down from the cliff tops above. What happens over time after wild fire kills lichen growing on rock art? Observations and studies following two large wild fires that...

  • Laser Removal of Graffiti from Pictographs at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, El Paso County, Texas: A Five-Year Review (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tim Roberts.

    In 2009, a three phase project was initiated at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site to remove graffiti that was painted over Native American pictographs, using portable lasers. The first phase of this project tested the ability of a laser to remove graffiti from an area of rock that did not contain pictographs; this test showed that a laser could be used to remove layers of graffiti from the igneous formations at the site. In 2010, samples of graffiti paint that was not directly on the...

  • Pisanay and the Endangered Rock Art Traditions of Arequipa, Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jo Burkholder.

    Drawing on the archaeological excavations at the site of Pisanay, located in the Sihuas Valley of Arequipa (southern) Peru, this paper will situate the rock art at the site within the broader contexts of multiple rock art traditions in the region. These traditions include both painted and pecked images on rock surfaces, a wide variety of geoglyphs, mobilary art, and sacred offerings made to particular rocks and geographic landmarks that represent huacas (loosely ‘holy places’). Within the...

  • Restoration of Sandia Cave, NHL, New Mexico (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sandra Arazi-Coambs. Carrin Rich.

    Sandia Cave is a National Historic Landmark that has played an important role in the history of archaeological thought about the Paleoindian period and Southwestern archaeology. The cave is also a designated traditional cultural property that is culturally significant to numerous Pueblo groups. Despite its cultural and historical significance and popularity as a tourist destination, the integrity of the cave has been severely diminished by heavy and repeated acts of vandalism over the years. It...

  • Rock Art Conservation in the Gila River Indian Community, Arizona (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Teresa Rodrigues. Ashley Bitowf. Chris Loendorf.

    The Gila Indian River Indian Community is dedicated to preserving its heritage, and consequently has developed a rock art conservation program in order to care for, restore, and protect petroglyphs within community lands. The proximity of the large Phoenix metropolitan area increases the risk of trespass and vandalism within the GRIC. In recent years, damage at archaeological sites has included defacement and graffiti, and the theft of rock art boulders. Current restoration work has experimented...

  • Rock Art Site Protection: Lessons Learned in 50 Years of Trying (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Evelyn Billo. Robert Mark.

    The shared attributes of two successful rock art site preservation projects near metropolitan areas will be discussed. They started with different backgrounds. The Adams School Site (now Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park) in California was a neglected and vandalized park whose property had been donated. Picture Canyon (now Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve) in Arizona was neglected State Trust land being used as an illegal dump that needed to be purchased to become a preserve. Both...

  • Signage Effectiveness as Rock Art Protection (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mavis Greer. John Greer.

    Site signage has long been used to inform people of the importance and fragile nature of rock art and consequences of damaging the images and related cultural remains. Many styles of signs, with variable content, amount of information, and degrees of threatened legal action, have been used around the world, and their effectiveness may be evaluated by damage to the sign, associated rock art, and surrounding landscape. Other factors, such as fences, walkways, distance from roads, and presence of...

  • A Tale of Two Management Plans: Comparing Visitor Impacts to Rock Art Sites on National Park Service Land vs. San Bernardino County Land (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jeremy Freeman. Mary Oster. Jason Theuer.

    On July, 6 2016 it was announced that management of the Coyote Hole rock art site located near the village of Joshua Tree, California would be transferred from the San Bernardino County Flood Control District to the Native American Land Conservancy. The site’s proximity to Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) provides a unique opportunity to compare this highly-accessible site with unregulated visitation to similarly threatened sites that are managed by JOTR. The publication of sensitive...