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Calls for national rock art database in Australia

Australia: Paul Tacon, professor of archaeology and anthropology and the chair of rock art research at Queensland’s Griffith University launched a campaign to help save and document thousands of Aboriginal rock art sites around Australia. The plan is to create a national digital rock art register archive combining the resources of centres at the Australia’s National University (ANU), Griffith University and the University of Western Australia.
“One of the first things we want to do is identify the top 100 sites in the country and then produce laser scans so that we can have 3D replications of those sites so if anything does happen to them, we’ve got this record,” said Prof Tacon. Prof Tacon aims to raise USD 6 million through the campaign to set up the archive system and create a national rock art institute.
It is thought there may be as many as 100,000 separate works spread throughout the country. Some are 15,000 years old, but a full count has never been carried out. Experts fear unless a national register is created, half the rock art sites could be lost to industry, urban development and vandalism.
Professor Tacon claimed if the national register is not set up, half the rock art sites could be lost within the next 50 years.
Source: ABC News