Rock Art CARE Project Fieldwork

Dr Patricia Warke uses an XRF machine to analyse rock composition

Dr Patricia Warke uses an XRF machine to analyse rock composition

The project team at Roughting Linn; left to right, standing B. Christgen, D. Graham, P. Lewis, J. Roberts, and M. Giesen; seated: P. Warke and A. Mazel

The project team at Roughting Linn; left to right, standing B. Christgen, D. Graham, P. Lewis, J. Roberts, and M. Giesen; seated: P. Warke and A. Mazel

The Heritage and Science: Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art project completed its first data collection exercise at the end of May. The team included Professor David Graham, Dr Aron Mazel, Dr Myra Giesen, Dr Beate Christgen and Peter Lewis from Newcastle University, Dr Patricia Warke from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Jennifer Roberts from the University of Kansas.

The team visited several rock art sites in Northumberland in order to gather scientific data on the contributing factors to rock art decay, such as mineralogical data. These data will be analysed at Queen’s University Belfast and, from the results, a shortlist of “risk factors” for rock art will be further refined. The first draft of a “tool kit,” which will enable individuals to assess the condition of rock art, also was piloted with the intention to test the ease of collecting this information for a non-expert in the field.

Next, the project will gather together rock art enthusiasts for a focus group on Saturday, 29th June in order to further test and refine the tool kit. If you know of anyone who may be interested in participating in the focus group, please do get in touch. The next fieldwork will conducted in Scotland in July, with the aim of expanding and improving our scientific understanding of rock art erosion.

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