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Ancient Artwork - Risk

Is our ancient artwork at risk?

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After carefully researching and studying the physical footings and the condition of Bronze and Neolithic rock art panes in Northumberland, researchers have come to the conclusion that our ancient art work could vanish because of the rapid climate changes.

Researchers have made it clear that we need to take immediate action to preserve this artwork for our future generations. It is even surprising to think that artwork on stone could deteriorate. Rock art has been known to be the earliest form of artistic expression and has been thought to be permanent but researchers who have been studying various art panels across a number of continents have found that there were two factors that could be closely associated with the deteriorating conditions of the stones. They are the elevation of the panel and the number of the exchangeable cations (ions) in the soil.

The team at Queens’s university, who has been researching the condition of various rock art is also now actively developing a tool-kit for scientists to help them identify the rock art that is most at risk and take preventive action such as improving drainage around the structures to preserve them for future generations. This will go a long way to preserve and protect our ancient artwork.

By April Holloway

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